Watch: The fight for the Bight in Norway

Stu Nettle
Swellnet Dispatch

The date has passed, paperwork is lodged, results awaiting. There's been a short stay with NOPSEMA's request that Equinor provide more information about their proposal to drill for oil in the Great Australian Bight, but everyone in the room is still holding their breath.

The fight for the Bight movement sparked paddle outs across the country, but here's what happened when Heath Joske visited Oslo to address Equinor's Annual General Meeting. Joske also met surfers and fishermen from Norway's Lofoten Islands who'd faced the threat of Equinor's drills.

If you want to mount a 2GB-level argument about oil use, knock yourself out, but understand that the world isn't short of oil (BP estimates there's 51 more years in known reserves), the depth of the drilling in the Bight exceeds that of the North West Shelf and North Sea, and it would also be the most remote oil rig in Australia presenting strategic issues for safety. 

You could also look at who exactly benefits, with the Australia Institute claiming the project would only create an average of 825 jobs over its lifespan, and also have to be subsidised by the South Australian government. The profits would flow to Norway - a small, resource rich country - to fill the coffers of their sovereign fund, which currently runs at around $200,000 for every citizen.

Meanwhile, Australia - another small, resource rich country - sold off it's energy assets, and now gives multinational companies carte blanche access to our resources while profit-shifting the returns to pay nominal tax here, and in some instances none at all.

Why would you fight for that?

Comments

Bsm17's picture
Bsm17's picture
Bsm17 commented Monday, 26 Aug 2019 at 4:24pm

The Government make more money off these resources then most people realise. Not many Australian companies have the ability to fund and run these large scale contructions, hence being sold to or funded by multinational companies.

abc-od's picture
abc-od's picture
abc-od commented Monday, 26 Aug 2019 at 5:05pm

No, the issue is more ideological than structural. Like Equinor, a state-owned company could quite easily run the project but the central tenets of neoliberal dogma are small govts and no market intervention.

THAT is the only thing stopping it. I get the feeling generations will look back at our acquiescence to private interests and be appalled.

Island Bay's picture
Island Bay's picture
Island Bay commented Tuesday, 27 Aug 2019 at 4:35am

But someone got really rich, albeit briefly.

Bob Elllis is rolling in his grave.

Bsm17's picture
Bsm17's picture
Bsm17 commented Tuesday, 27 Aug 2019 at 4:32pm

Personally working for one of the multinational companies, i cant ever imagine a state government successfully running a large mining organisation. Maintaining profits through the good and bad times and not running into a deficit.

Island Bay's picture
Island Bay's picture
Island Bay commented Tuesday, 27 Aug 2019 at 4:54pm

I guess that depends on how you define 'successfully'.

Blowin's picture
Blowin's picture
Blowin commented Saturday, 31 Aug 2019 at 7:20am

What’s the difference ?

Virtually every major mining and extraction process completed in Australia in the last decade won’t pay tax till 2050 because they’re operating at a loss ( cough cough ).

Poor Chevron looks like it might never make a profit !

Ash's picture
Ash's picture
Ash commented Monday, 26 Aug 2019 at 7:45pm

Heath serves us and our country well, far better than the opportunists that would allow such a crappy deal ( SA gov subsidizing to another foreign national company, unbelievable ) and eco disaster time bomb. Hope the Norwegians have a conscience and show respect for us and where we live, I know most of our politicians won't.

ruckus's picture
ruckus's picture
ruckus commented Tuesday, 27 Aug 2019 at 12:19pm

Onya Heath keep it up. This is what legends are made of. Hats off and a huge credit to the bloke

northeasterly's picture
northeasterly's picture
northeasterly commented Tuesday, 27 Aug 2019 at 11:34am

We should all be thanking Heath Joske for taking time out of his life to fight for what's really important to all of us. I just hope he can keep up the energy for all our sakes. We need to get behind him any way we can. Well done to Heath and to Patagonia for helping him push against a corrupt Australian government and an international oil giant - no easy task.

Lanky Dean's picture
Lanky Dean's picture
Lanky Dean commented Tuesday, 27 Aug 2019 at 2:34pm

Valla boy did great!
Its really interesting, wonder how the local activists must feel about the government owned business of destruction?
Its cool the locals paddled out to show support.
Any ideas when the decision on this project will be made?
Its really unbelievable that people are actually considering this.

I remember seeing a message written on a silo at southern cross station in Melbourne.
" No jobs on a dead planet."
Profound., true and quite moving.

n!ck's picture
n!ck's picture
n!ck commented Tuesday, 27 Aug 2019 at 8:21pm

Thank you Heath. And thank you Swellnet. Fingers crossed

Gee Sea's picture
Gee Sea's picture
Gee Sea commented Tuesday, 27 Aug 2019 at 11:12pm

Those mining adds don’t convince me.
https://www.google.com.au/amp/s/amp.smh.com.au/politics/federal/staggeri...
In summary; Qatar earns 26.6 billion while Australia earns 600 million for the same amount of Gas.
Meanwhile we sacrifice our oceans, aquifers, land, and forests. Sounds like the four horsemen.
And no, I don’t suggest we return to the Stone Age.

bongsalot's picture
bongsalot's picture
bongsalot commented Wednesday, 28 Aug 2019 at 4:04pm

sneaky cunts are having not so public-public meetings this week over here..luckily crew are finding out about 'em and gettin in their face..the arrogance of these european arseholes!

Tim Pak Poy's picture
Tim Pak Poy's picture
Tim Pak Poy commented Thursday, 29 Aug 2019 at 1:33pm

Keeping it in the family

Parochial Queenslander & italian resident abroad Matt ‘mummy’s boy’ Canavan, yet another loopy right wing god bothering national party conservative pushing the dud Adani barrow, is Morrison’s 38 yo minister for resources, senator & playground bully who recently dissed global engineering firm calling them ‘a bunch of bedwetters’ for severing all ties with his pet the well known pariah Adani. Not content with endangering the Queensland icon and world heritage listed reef and efforts to reduce emissions, this coal loving bean counter (anyone note his brother moving his 59% coal mining stake to his wife last November?...Canavan family obsession with coal... AFR Aug 23, 2019) is determined to influence oil exploration endangering the bight.

Minister Matt’s appalling due diligence doesn’t bode well for his credibility or understanding of the rigours of science when he told the ABC earlier this year the Deepwater Horizon rig in Mexico was 10 km deep whereas the Norwegian rig proposed for the bight is a mere 2 km deep.

Incorrect. In fact Deepwater’s total depth was around 5.5 kilometres. In the bight, Equinor plans a total depth of around 4.9 kilometres. That is 2.2 km underwater then a further drilling of 2.7 km into the seabed...The Hack ABC March 5, 2019

In 2010, Deepwater exploded killing 11 crew members and seriously injuring workers; the worst oil spill in history, it leaked millions of barrels of oil over 87 days into the Gulf of Mexico.

https://www.abc.net.au/triplej/programs/hack/gab-factcheck-matt-canavan/...

Spuddups's picture
Spuddups's picture
Spuddups commented Thursday, 29 Aug 2019 at 1:51pm

The elephant in the room here is that Australia has some of the highest per capita carbon emissions in the developed world. Stopping oil drilling in the GAB is a great idea, I'm all for it, but all it's gonna achieve is to move the problem somewhere else (unless Australians start using less oil.) If you're happy for oil to be drilled in places like Alaska and Nigeria then by all means put your energy into stopping oil drilling in Australia. If you're like me and you find this approach morally bankrupt then I'd urge you to start thinking of ways to use less oil. Perhaps the simplest thing you can do is to vote for the Green Party at election time. Another more direct approach would be to buy an electric car and charge it from solar panels on your house.

caml's picture
caml's picture
caml commented Saturday, 31 Aug 2019 at 1:33am

Keep fighting the environmental vandals who are destroying the planet rapidly

two-dogs's picture
two-dogs's picture
two-dogs commented Saturday, 31 Aug 2019 at 2:00pm

http://www.nordicsurfersmag.se/img/media/759/gron.jpg

Great series of podcasts on the issue here. This one especially.

caml's picture
caml's picture
caml commented Saturday, 7 Sep 2019 at 2:49pm

Equinor has another oil spill in bahamas now