(The AEGIS Alliance) – BP, known as British Petroleum, looked into convincing NOPSEMA (National Offshore Petroleum Safety and Environmental Management Authority) in Australia that potential oil spills off Australia’s coast will provide “a welcome boost to local economies.” BP announced this claim in 2016 with an environmental plan written for convincing NOPSEMA for the approval of the company’s bid in drilling oil at the Great Australian Bight, which is a pristine region around the southern coast of Australia.
BP holds a troubled record regarding oil spills. They were responsible for the Deep-water Horizon spill during 2010 that happened in the Gulf of Mexico. This was the biggest marine oil spill in history. This disaster leaked three million crude oil barrels into the environment in this area, creating many ‘dead zones’. These ‘dead zones’ are marine areas lacking oxygen and as a result, lacking life. It saw the devastation of economies locally, some of which still struggle to recover.
These documents are now in the possession of Climate Home News, a website based in London with the use of freedom of information laws. They are claiming the ‘increased activity’ resulting from cleanup operations due to oil spills will boost local economies. Looking further, it claims these environmental disasters are ‘socially acceptable’ and don’t present ‘unresolved stakeholder concerns.’
NOPSEMA, a regulator of the environment, does not agree with British Petroleum’s bright aftermath image of big oil spills. NOPSEMA cited impacts that such spills will have on a region’s ecosystems, that are numerous important species homes, along with being a key drive for tourism in the region. This is raising concerns that noise generated by the activity of drilling in the areas would present dangers to dolphins and whales.
Also, NOPSEMA notes that BP is failing to consider many possible effects ecologically of their drilling plan and didn’t provide any realistic plans about how the company will respond to any oil spills in this area. NOPSEMA was seen rejecting the plan drafted by BP in 2016. The plan was rejected for a second time, NOPSEMA also rejected an environmental safety plan previously, written during 2015 by BP.
BP was contacted to comment in regards to its blatant lack of being concerned about oil spills, asserting that their correspondence doesn’t ‘represent the final views of BP’. They also note that British Petroleum abandoned the bid for drilling in these areas after they cited ‘better options’ for investing elsewhere.
Although, a Norway-based oil company, Statoil, took over BP’s plans to explore oil in these areas. Statoil hasn’t submitted environmental plans to NOPSEMA. Seeing the backlash BP had gotten over its environmental plans, Statoil’s version isn’t likely to argue that oil spills will boost local economies and are considered to have social acceptance by the general public.
Featured Image: CC/TheAntiMedia.com
Kyle James Lee – The AEGIS Alliance – This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.