Oil and Gas Exploration of the Great Australian Bight

A brief history and potential future of oil and gas exploration in the Great Australian Bight, pending the outcome of a robust environmental assessment.

2019 - 2020

EQUINOR - EPP39 and EPP40

Equinor is preparing to drill one exploration well in the summer of 2019/2020. The operations are planned to take approximately 60 days. On 19 February 2019 Equinor released their draft environment plan for public comment for a period of 30 days. All comments will be considered in an update of the EP before it is submitted to the National Offshore Petroleum Safety and Environment Management Authority for assessment.

2019

PGS will conduct seismic testing over a 30,000 square kilometre area, located 80km from Port Lincoln and 90km west of Kangaroo Island in 2019.

Feb 2016 - Mar 2017

SENATE INQUIRIES

In February 2016, the Senate Environment and Communications References Committee commenced an inquiry into oil and gas production in the Great Australian Bight. Submissions to that Senate Inquiry can be found here.

A public hearing was held in Adelaide on 28 April and the transcript can be found here. With the dissolution of the Senate on 8 May 2016 for an election, the Committee ceased to exist, and the inquiry lapsed.

On 13 September 2016, the Senate agreed to the Committee’s recommendation that this inquiry be re-adopted in the 45th Parliament. Public hearings were held in Adelaide on 11 November 2016 and Canberra on 8 February 2017 and the transcripts can be found here. This Committee released its report on 11 May 2017. Click here to view the report as a single document.

In October 2016, the Senate Environment and Communications Legislation Committee commenced an inquiry into the Great Australian Bight Environment Protection Bill 2016. The bill was a private senator’s bill introduced by Senator Sarah Hanson-Young in September 2016. Submissions to the Great Australian Bight Environment Protection Bill 2016 inquiry can be found here. The Committee did not hold any public hearings. The Committee reported on 30 March 2017 and recommended that the Senate not pass the bill, stating that the protections offered by the current regulatory regime are adequate. This Senate Committee report can be found here.

Oct 2016

KAROON ENERGY - EPP46

Permit was awarded in October 2016 with an initial 3 year commitment to acquire or licence 2D and 3D seismic data and undertake geotechnical studies.

2015 - 2016

MURPHY and SANTOS - EPP43 Joint Venture

The Joint Venture has received (computer processed) seismic data from PGS and will take the next 12 to 18 months to analyse that data (using their team of geoscientists).

May 2015

TGS completed a seismic survey over 21,000 sq km within Permits EPP44 and EPP45 in May 2015.

The facts about offshore oil and gas exploration in South Australia

The State Government has released a public information guide “The facts about offshore oil and gas exploration in South Australia” to address the issues surrounding oil and gas exploration in the Great Australian Bight. Further information is also available on their website.

NOPSEMA

The National Offshore Petroleum Safety and Environmental Management Authority (NOPSEMA) is the sole regulator of petroleum activities in Commonwealth waters. Under the Offshore Petroleum and Greenhuse Gas Storage (Environment) Regulations 2009, a titleholder is required to provide a summary of an accepted environment plan to NOPSEMA.

NOPSEMA will publish the summary on their website when it is satisfied that the environment plan summary meets the requirements of the Environment Regulations. Information regarding the environmental plans being reviewed by NOPSEMA in the Great Australian Bight can be viewed on their website.

Visit NOPSEMA