Equinor abandons plans to drill for oil in the Bight

Swellnet Dispatch

Norwegian company Equinor has become the third major fossil fuel producer to abandon plans to drill for oil in the Great Australian Bight.

The company said it had concluded that its exploration drilling plan was "not commercially competitive" compared with other exploration opportunities.

In December, Equinor was granted environmental approval to drill 372 kilometres south of the Nullarbor coastline, despite protests from environmentalists.

BP abandoned plans to drill the bight in 2016, with Chevron following suit in 2017.

Equninor said it made its decision after a "holistic review of its exploration portfolio".

"We will engage with the federal and state authorities regarding our decision to discontinue the exploration program," the company's manager for Australia, Jone Stangeland, said in a statement.

"We hold an exploration permit offshore Western Australia and will maintain other ongoing interests and activities in Australia."

Last month, the Wilderness Society launched legal action against the national regulator — the National Offshore Petroleum Safety and Environmental Management Authority (NOPSEMA) — after it granted conditional environmental approval to the project.

© Australian Broadcasting Corporation. All rights reserved.

Comments

thermalben's picture
thermalben's picture
thermalben commented Tuesday, 25 Feb 2020 at 10:48am

Wow.

Big props to a lotta people who put in a huge effort on this, especially Heath and Sean.

gopatter's picture
gopatter's picture
gopatter commented Tuesday, 25 Feb 2020 at 1:24pm

What an extraordinary outcome, I'm blown away. I'm sure there's more to the story than just the profit margin - they wouldn't have got this far without working that out first. Huge thanks to all who added their voice and especially the good folks of the SA far west coast who made a big enough noise to be heard around the world. I'm sure there will be other bastards who want to turn a profit at the expense of our natural resource - take note Federal government deniers the fight doesn't end here.

tango's picture
tango's picture
tango commented Wednesday, 26 Feb 2020 at 12:12am

Props to Sean and Heath, but don't forget the work Damien Cole did on this, too. Massive effort all round and all deserving of set waves whenever they want 'em.

Blackdog's picture
Blackdog's picture
Blackdog commented Thursday, 27 Feb 2020 at 7:04pm

Hey Benno, did you read the article mate? These chaps you mention may have put in a “huge effort” but in the end made no difference to the outcome unless they gave up their addiction to all things oil OR the article YOU published is “fake news”.?
They can paddle a board as hard as they want on the sand, but they’ll never catch a wave!
You see It’s these kinds of people that finance companies like this (by buying their products) to rape and pillage, and then go and make themselves “feel better” about themselves and look good to the public by acting like they are doing good for the world by preaching propaganda.
Now big oil will be looking to rape and pillage the planet in a semi lawless 3rd world country (w.a lol) with cheap labor and nothing holding them accountable. All this just for the convince of chaps like these!
Sorry Benno, just another way of looking at it...

batfink's picture
batfink's picture
batfink commented Wednesday, 4 Mar 2020 at 10:51pm

Thanks black dog. This puritan BS " you can't say anything unless you're a vegan who wears a hair shirt" really advances the debate.

Craig's picture
Craig's picture
Craig commented Tuesday, 25 Feb 2020 at 10:54am

Massive news! What a result. Just shows it's doesn't make economical sense. Thanks for all those who fought!

Ray Collins's picture
Ray Collins's picture
Ray Collins commented Tuesday, 25 Feb 2020 at 10:55am
carpetman's picture
carpetman's picture
carpetman commented Tuesday, 25 Feb 2020 at 10:58am

Wow. Very surprising. Great news

GuySmiley's picture
GuySmiley's picture
GuySmiley commented Tuesday, 25 Feb 2020 at 11:11am

Great news now perhaps donate some cash to the Wilderness Society.

Barrel Daithwaite's picture
Barrel Daithwaite's picture
Barrel Daithwaite commented Tuesday, 25 Feb 2020 at 11:12am

Epic! Thank fuck for that. Well done to all involved seemingly our voices were actually heard for once.

Ashley Jones's picture
Ashley Jones's picture
Ashley Jones commented Tuesday, 25 Feb 2020 at 11:17am

Being a Western Australian it is disturbing that they may now focus their attention to our coast. I am hugely relieved that the Bight is off the agenda.

Fatso's picture
Fatso's picture
Fatso commented Tuesday, 25 Feb 2020 at 12:09pm

Ashley,
the license Equinor hold in WA is on the north west shelf, along with all the other environmental pillagers that are already active there. I worked in enviro on Barrow during the development of Chevron's facility until I got sick of it. You're correct that the activities off WA are disturbing, as is the way our govt just rolls over and plays dead when these multinationals front up. The north west shelf and projects further north are little different to what might have happened in the Bight...its just a matter of time til something goes bang

Willliam's picture
Willliam's picture
Willliam commented Tuesday, 25 Feb 2020 at 1:06pm

Fatso........now trying to think of which Enviro would use fatso as an online name??

Fatso's picture
Fatso's picture
Fatso commented Tuesday, 25 Feb 2020 at 5:44pm

wellllllll...fatso was a wombat on at least one TV show I can remember...and wombat pretty much describes how I'm surfing these days!
;-)

Blowin's picture
Blowin's picture
Blowin commented Tuesday, 25 Feb 2020 at 8:43pm

I was at Barrow.

The bandicoots loved Cheesels. They weren’t too big on the beer ....but who likes mid-strength ?

Good work on the bight result to everyone who had a go. Much appreciated.

Fatso's picture
Fatso's picture
Fatso commented Wednesday, 26 Feb 2020 at 10:51am

"The bandicoots loved Cheesels." Say no more. I had the good fortune t be able to check the multitude of surf spots on Barrow...and the misfortune to not be able to surf them!

Willliam's picture
Willliam's picture
Willliam commented Friday, 28 Feb 2020 at 9:08am

I was also an enviro up there. Was a fun gig....trying to do my little bit anyways.
I have a video of epic bandicoot fight in the middle of the wet mess.
yeah was never a fan of the mid-strength, nor the accompanying 12am then 3am toilet wake up call.

Daltz007's picture
Daltz007's picture
Daltz007 commented Tuesday, 25 Feb 2020 at 11:26am

That's great news.

Gra Murdoch's picture
Gra Murdoch's picture
Gra Murdoch commented Tuesday, 25 Feb 2020 at 11:30am

Beautiful stuff.

Robwilliams's picture
Robwilliams's picture
Robwilliams commented Tuesday, 25 Feb 2020 at 6:27pm

Bloody beautiful

VicRhino's picture
VicRhino's picture
VicRhino commented Tuesday, 25 Feb 2020 at 11:33am

Fantastic

troppo dichotomy's picture
troppo dichotomy's picture
troppo dichotomy commented Tuesday, 25 Feb 2020 at 11:34am

Awesome!!good work swellnet on your end for informing the public through out this debacle.now we have to vote out these scumbag politicians who are totally trashing the joint.........

DamonS's picture
DamonS's picture
DamonS commented Tuesday, 25 Feb 2020 at 11:37am

Good stuff.

fuhrious's picture
fuhrious's picture
fuhrious commented Tuesday, 25 Feb 2020 at 11:37am

Incredible outcome! Congratulations to those that led the way and everyone that acted by signing the petition!

KARIO's picture
KARIO's picture
KARIO commented Tuesday, 25 Feb 2020 at 11:41am

YES !

calk's picture
calk's picture
calk commented Tuesday, 25 Feb 2020 at 11:48am

Enormous news!

Incredibly grateful for the people who gave so much and fought so hard against the Equinor proposal. What an excellent result.

jimmy.long's picture
jimmy.long's picture
jimmy.long commented Tuesday, 25 Feb 2020 at 12:14pm

Great news well done to everyone who fought this battle.

chook's picture
chook's picture
chook commented Tuesday, 25 Feb 2020 at 12:19pm

well done and thank you so much to all those involved in campaigning to stop this.

Bob Sacamano's picture
Bob Sacamano's picture
Bob Sacamano commented Tuesday, 25 Feb 2020 at 12:31pm

Fuck you and the horse you rode in on Equinor.

blackers's picture
blackers's picture
blackers commented Tuesday, 25 Feb 2020 at 12:34pm

My thoughts echo all of the above, especially those of Bob S. Yee hah!

NDC's picture
NDC's picture
NDC commented Tuesday, 25 Feb 2020 at 12:34pm

Wow! Can’t wait to tell my two young girls who did the paddle out protest at Manly - who knows how significant a factor the protests were but huge thanks to the organisers

We have to send messages to people in power what’s important to us, even though at times it feels pointless, You just never know - just maybe it isn’t pointless

Unreal

Robwilliams's picture
Robwilliams's picture
Robwilliams commented Tuesday, 25 Feb 2020 at 6:29pm

it is never pointless if you believe in it.

Bubble elder's picture
Bubble elder's picture
Bubble elder commented Tuesday, 25 Feb 2020 at 12:37pm

Awesome news! Big thanks to all involved who got out there and made this happen, good to see we can still make a difference.

ojackojacko's picture
ojackojacko's picture
ojackojacko commented Tuesday, 25 Feb 2020 at 12:44pm

it’s a great piece of news no doubt but read the whole story. the government and oil companies are still talking the project up. battle won, war continues ...

maka2000's picture
maka2000's picture
maka2000 commented Tuesday, 25 Feb 2020 at 12:52pm

I don't see why everyone says it's good effort, they (norway [email protected]) didn't say anything about peoples will or this decision (canceling the drill) was made because of number of protesters and people who were against it. There's nothing of it. All they say is simply not commercial competitive, not feasible and not profitable. I guess if it was profitable they would not care much about those protesters and all Aussies who against it, they would just drill and spill. That's what they gonna do of the coast of western Australia anyway. The money is the real power.

Surfalot67's picture
Surfalot67's picture
Surfalot67 commented Tuesday, 25 Feb 2020 at 2:08pm

Not sure I agree there Maka. I think its an exercise in saving face in front of their shareholders by claiming its not financially viable...

maka2000's picture
maka2000's picture
maka2000 commented Tuesday, 25 Feb 2020 at 3:56pm

after such an expensive exercise of researching the ocean depth and the earth under and getting government approval dropping this idea just because of small public stink? Nuh.... if it was really profitable they would buy all politicians who will tell us how good it is for public and Australia , even all greenies would tell us how good it is for us. But i'm still happy about those norway [email protected] backed away.

Blowin's picture
Blowin's picture
Blowin commented Tuesday, 25 Feb 2020 at 8:45pm

The BFS usually precedes the licence I thought ?

Craig's picture
Craig's picture
Craig commented Tuesday, 25 Feb 2020 at 1:01pm

You think they would admit it was because of the people's objection, even just a small bit? Never..

jayet-010's picture
jayet-010's picture
jayet-010 commented Tuesday, 25 Feb 2020 at 1:34pm

Yeah, it's an interesting question.

How much did the protests influence their decision?

If it wasn't commercially viable, that's great, it's unlikely to be commercially viable for other companies (at least until there's a leap in technology).

If the protests were a factor (and I suspect they were) then there's nothing stopping a less scrupulous operator from having a punt. Which means the fights not over.

Is there anything that can be done to increase the conservation status of the area?

Ape Anonymous's picture
Ape Anonymous's picture
Ape Anonymous commented Tuesday, 25 Feb 2020 at 1:02pm

Just saw this -so, was the whole thing meant to be a distraction from the Adani Mine being approved -to scatter the attention of protesters? Or is it simply because more than 3% of the entire stock market shit itself yesterday?

Robwilliams's picture
Robwilliams's picture
Robwilliams commented Tuesday, 25 Feb 2020 at 6:30pm

Fuck Adani

Denyer's picture
Denyer's picture
Denyer commented Tuesday, 25 Feb 2020 at 1:03pm

From what I can see the abandonment of this project by Equinor is purely driven by the numbers not stacking up. I don't think they were scared off by the protests, so not really sure if this can be counted as a "win"?

Unless someone can point me to information that says otherwise?

Obviously it's great news, but the narrative seems to be that the voice of the people means absolutely zero when it comes to handing out exploration approvals and the like.

hangingtomatoes's picture
hangingtomatoes's picture
hangingtomatoes commented Tuesday, 25 Feb 2020 at 4:57pm

Mate, this project has been in planning for years. Lobbying, consultation (with some), reports, consultants, engineers, campaigns, political landscape uncertainty...

You don't reckon they crunched the numbers until now?
Reckon that would've been an awkward Monday morning team meeting when poor little Erik in finance finally presented his spreadsheet...

Denyer's picture
Denyer's picture
Denyer commented Tuesday, 25 Feb 2020 at 5:46pm

I concede that we've both speculated here...It could very well have been due to social pressure. It could very well have also been due to feasibility.

With regard to your point about crunching numbers it depends what came first - the chicken or the egg. They could very well have tested the commercial viability before seeking approvals. Or the other way around, they could have gained the approvals before fully flexing the business model for this project.

I assume that these types of companies gain approvals that they don't follow through on on a regular basis. As BP and Chevron did previously for drilling work down there.

If crude oil prices were high, I imagine we'd be doing more paddle outs right now.

hangingtomatoes's picture
hangingtomatoes's picture
hangingtomatoes commented Tuesday, 25 Feb 2020 at 8:21pm

I'd be willing to wager this celebratory beer I'm downing on them having crunched the numbers many years ago. Not sure they'd come this far having not assessed the financial viability of the project. Anyway, fuck it. Cheers!

teanorris's picture
teanorris's picture
teanorris commented Tuesday, 25 Feb 2020 at 1:21pm

Great to see wilderness society taking these guys to court. This is where the power lies. More damage and will full neglect cases = less willingness/ability to continue on wrecking our planet. There’s largely a bunch of narcissists running these organisations, it’s time they are held responsible.

Robwilliams's picture
Robwilliams's picture
Robwilliams commented Tuesday, 25 Feb 2020 at 6:32pm

the wilderness society where massive in this

Tim Pak Poy's picture
Tim Pak Poy's picture
Tim Pak Poy commented Tuesday, 25 Feb 2020 at 1:25pm

Great result! Thanks to all who supported this. Yew!

Ash's picture
Ash's picture
Ash commented Tuesday, 25 Feb 2020 at 1:49pm

That's huge news, best thing I've heard in ages.

Ol' 54's picture
Ol' 54's picture
Ol' 54 commented Tuesday, 25 Feb 2020 at 1:53pm

I suspect the UK's future commitment to electric cars may have been a factor too.

Underdownunder's picture
Underdownunder's picture
Underdownunder commented Tuesday, 25 Feb 2020 at 2:17pm

I predicted they wouldn't drill in previous forums months and years ago.
Its basic economics not mass paddle outs.
Cost of extraction vs market price
Very basic economics
If oil was 200 a barrel there would have been a hole dugs years ago.

stunet's picture
stunet's picture
stunet commented Tuesday, 25 Feb 2020 at 2:19pm

Hard to say what the reasoning is, but surely the financial aspect - expenses incurred, market rates, profit margin - would be worked out well before they got this far. Why sink this much money and political capital into something that could've been calculated on a drawing board in Oslo back in 2014?

kaiser's picture
kaiser's picture
kaiser commented Tuesday, 25 Feb 2020 at 4:43pm

Changing landscape. Kaufland sunk half a bil and then walked away. Things aren’t the same as they used to be

amb's picture
amb's picture
amb commented Tuesday, 25 Feb 2020 at 2:21pm

Heath & his crew would be wrapt. Great stuff

hangingtomatoes's picture
hangingtomatoes's picture
hangingtomatoes commented Tuesday, 25 Feb 2020 at 2:36pm

H U G E.

suffer in your jocks canavan.

tango's picture
tango's picture
tango commented Wednesday, 26 Feb 2020 at 12:14am

+ 1

Underdownunder's picture
Underdownunder's picture
Underdownunder commented Tuesday, 25 Feb 2020 at 2:45pm

BP spent 700 million on a drill ship especially for the bight several years ago and never used it. Spending a few million here or there to keep options open is chump change for big oil like equinor.

Itsmemickyb's picture
Itsmemickyb's picture
Itsmemickyb commented Wednesday, 26 Feb 2020 at 11:39am

Yeah with the scale that they work on its hard to say why they didn't drill

Pops's picture
Pops's picture
Pops commented Tuesday, 25 Feb 2020 at 2:53pm

Great news, but it might not be over yet... how long does their approval last for?

He who hesitates is lost

Elliedog's picture
Elliedog's picture
Elliedog commented Tuesday, 25 Feb 2020 at 2:55pm

this is incredible news....however, the fight will never be over they will be back again at some point. Maybe long after we are gone...so, on the next generation and the next and so on.....the numbers will stack up at some point if the fight stops... big kudos to the main stayers involved.

Luba

indo-dreaming's picture
indo-dreaming's picture
indo-dreaming commented Tuesday, 25 Feb 2020 at 3:42pm

What's the name for this kind of thing?

Propose something extreme (deep drilling in a high risk area) to then make it more palatable for something else like drilling for oil in shallower water.

Developer etc use the technique all the time.

stunet's picture
stunet's picture
stunet commented Tuesday, 25 Feb 2020 at 3:45pm

Stalking Horse.

goofyfoot's picture
goofyfoot's picture
goofyfoot commented Tuesday, 25 Feb 2020 at 6:18pm

a cunts act

Legrope's picture
Legrope's picture
Legrope commented Tuesday, 25 Feb 2020 at 3:58pm

Thank f*ck for that. Last thing this planet needs is a potential environmental disaster. The Morrison govt have a lot to answer for with their views ($$$) on fossil fuels and climate change.
If only Parliament House burnt down and nothing else. I really feel for everyone on the east coast with the devastating fires and massive losses.

gordie's picture
gordie's picture
gordie commented Tuesday, 25 Feb 2020 at 4:48pm

I’m not the protesting type but I got behind this cause.
Great result.
Well done to all the players who put so much of their own time and $ into fighting for the bight.

Gordie

jasper99's picture
jasper99's picture
jasper99 commented Tuesday, 25 Feb 2020 at 5:12pm

Just saw on the Local Adelaide news that 1 of the State MPs here was "extremely disappointed" it wasn't going ahead because the state would lose out on money from the project and jobs will be lost!
Who the fuck are these people? How many locals would have gained employment through this proposed project versus how many jobs lost if there were a spill? Knobs

shortenism's picture
shortenism's picture
shortenism commented Tuesday, 25 Feb 2020 at 5:22pm

Yeah stalking horse potentially... We might have to remain on guard for a while... Like forever.. I reckon a few crew also used this issue as a stalking horse to raise their personal or brand profile but leaders step up!? You have to wonder whilst we were all focusing on this and distracted what else got pushed through.... 5G roll out comes to mind.. But I digress. .. Anyway, great relief its all over for now.

The fact it got this far in the manner it did with it disappearing in the same manner to me is where the problem lies and if we really want to protect future generations perhaps we need to keep going with this, Wilderness Society, Fight For the Bight Etc should progress with the legal action but an inquiry of sorts. I dont even know what you would call it, but the fact that NOPSEMA are setup like they are, approved this thing confidentially, had a Minster resign a few weeks back and now it all along with some of the key barrow pushers vanish with limited explanation is where the heart of the problem is. Their reason for withdrawing is as crooked as their reason for getting this far... We need a Royal Commission of sorts but led properly...

Tim Bonython's picture
Tim Bonython's picture
Tim Bonython commented Tuesday, 25 Feb 2020 at 5:23pm

Bravo! People Power WINS! Big congrats to Seano, Heath & all everyone that made a noise in saying NO!

Kham's picture
Kham's picture
Kham commented Tuesday, 25 Feb 2020 at 5:28pm

Power to the people. My 9 y/o daughter and I did the paddle out on my McCoy 7'6" at Currumbin back beach. It was pretty solid with strong Nth wind, gutsy for my daughter who has only surfed a handful of times. She loved feeling a part of something significant, bigger picture type stuff.

Kham

Robwilliams's picture
Robwilliams's picture
Robwilliams commented Tuesday, 25 Feb 2020 at 6:34pm

this was bigger than catching a wave. great cause, great outcome.

NDC's picture
NDC's picture
NDC commented Tuesday, 25 Feb 2020 at 7:16pm

+1

Robwilliams's picture
Robwilliams's picture
Robwilliams commented Tuesday, 25 Feb 2020 at 6:26pm

Thank you to all who bothered to make an effort to oppose this. Be it big or small, every person counts. Thank for you contribution. This is a positive result for all involved. Thank you for supporting a great cause and making a stand. We must still be vigilant on issues contributing to a better future for our Australia.

Some very good news amongst a dark year of so far. I am absolutely over the moon at this decision and know others will be to. Positive change can be achieved if we apply pressure. Australians will gain allot of hope from this and I encourage others who have thought about making positive change to do so. Thank you Australia once again.

davetherave's picture
davetherave's picture
davetherave commented Tuesday, 25 Feb 2020 at 6:48pm

No not going to admit to objections.Equinor will soon release a new company vision after a shareholders meeting that sees a change in direction that realizes that clean green energy is going to provide a sustainable economic margin for the company.
So stoked, i knew they would see the true bottom line eventually.
So no backdown, just a brave new vision, but a vision that is all inclusive.

davetherave

indo-dreaming's picture
indo-dreaming's picture
indo-dreaming commented Tuesday, 25 Feb 2020 at 8:14pm

like most energy companies they are already investing in renewables, i think these guys are more into wind and offshore wind, i remember reading how they have plans for the biggest offshore wind farm somewhere.

But they are also a gas company and gas is the boom area now as may countries getting rid of coal for gas, so its not like they are going to stop mining for oil or gas anytime soon.

Filthyboy's picture
Filthyboy's picture
Filthyboy commented Tuesday, 25 Feb 2020 at 7:32pm

Yeeew!!

Timothy Burgess's picture
Timothy Burgess's picture
Timothy Burgess commented Tuesday, 25 Feb 2020 at 8:30pm

Great news!

davetherave's picture
davetherave's picture
davetherave commented Tuesday, 25 Feb 2020 at 8:44pm

watch offshore gerro big fella- gas, yes, but , wind,yehar

davetherave

Clivus Multrum's picture
Clivus Multrum's picture
Clivus Multrum commented Tuesday, 25 Feb 2020 at 8:59pm

This is great news

Brad Ferrier's picture
Brad Ferrier's picture
Brad Ferrier commented Tuesday, 25 Feb 2020 at 9:34pm

Jasper99, you nailed it. Those politicians have no idea.,basic short term views on everything, they probably think Rome was built in a day !!. Plenty of jobs making components, installing hard structures, the future is bright for any company manufacturing all types of renewables and of course it takes plenty of people power to design it, install it, maintain it. It’s the way forward for sure. Great effort by all, particularly love all the comments on this forum where youngsters paddled out with their parents and said they felt slightly empowered and with an air of belonging, gets the hair on the back of ya neck standing right up and a little dribble running down ya cheek.

69longboarder's picture
69longboarder's picture
69longboarder commented Tuesday, 25 Feb 2020 at 10:19pm

That is piss weak that WE need to keep our guard now for the stalking horse.

Last time I checked this country had a government.
Oh sorry. I meant our government is piss weak. That's why we need to keep our guard up.

Back slaps to all involved in fighting the good fight here. Thank you from the bottom of my ocean floor.

Mishad's picture
Mishad's picture
Mishad commented Wednesday, 26 Feb 2020 at 2:16am

A lot of speculation going on as to the reasons they pulled out. If I had to throw my hat in the ring I'd say it would of been a bit of both but predominantly financial viability factors. When BP and Chevron were looking at the region for drilling and production, no one said boo about it, and they pulled out all the same.

Surely an annual or shareholder report would eventually mention in more detail their reasons for pulling out. A dig a round a bit more would be worth while to find the real reasons before congratulating activism prematurely.

I'm hoping someone can provide evidence to prove me wrong and restore my faith in activism as a mechanism to effect change on a large scale.

Saying the above, I'd be very interested on what grounds the Wildlife Society are taking NOPSEMA to court over this saga. This would be the most efficient way to protect Australia's coastline from future attempts - force the overseeing government agency to do their job, or in the least, highlight their short comings so more suitable policy can be established.

Brad Ferrier's picture
Brad Ferrier's picture
Brad Ferrier commented Wednesday, 26 Feb 2020 at 6:50am

Mishad, wrong, wrong and wrong. Plenty of people said boo about it, myself and plenty of others. Did you have your head in the sand of those heaving South African beach breaks ? Those two companies pulled out because in the end they realised that the futures of their companies would be way tarnished, as both are attempting to do better from an environmental perspective and to be seen in a better light by the public. I have on great authority from a mate who works with management for one of them and I was told that it was the sole reason they withdrew. Correct, both have huge investments in renewables and are aiming to dramatically lower their carbon imprints and if not least aim to be carbon neutral in the ensuing years.

Mishad's picture
Mishad's picture
Mishad commented Thursday, 27 Feb 2020 at 5:10am

Thanks Brad for those bits of insight. And yes, my head is buried in in the sand over here, and would've thought I would of heard about it on the grapevine in some form or another. But turns out my assumption was wrong. Ok you have single handedly caused me to pause and consider about the power of activism in bringing awareness and impacting corporate public image of oil companies. Guess I'm cynical and skeptical as I work in the offshore oil and gas industry (don't judge me, many do) and hear alot of talk about Environmental protection from them, then witness things that totally contradict their environmental protection policies. For example, smashing through coral reefs, trenching it all up to make way for pipeline landfalls on a certain eco fragile Island in Oz norwest. (What EIA allowed that to happen?) Then being told to not let one bit of plastic make its's way overboard while offshore or it'll be reported as an environmental incident.

Spuddups's picture
Spuddups's picture
Spuddups commented Wednesday, 26 Feb 2020 at 7:24am

I think is great news. Now I'd urge all of you to think about where the oil that runs your car, builds your surfboards and flies you to Indo comes from. Moving the problem somewhere else was the easy part. The hard part is to make meaningful changes in your lifestyle.

Denyer's picture
Denyer's picture
Denyer commented Wednesday, 26 Feb 2020 at 8:58am

Now there's a valuable bit of wisdom.

Island Bay's picture
Island Bay's picture
Island Bay commented Wednesday, 26 Feb 2020 at 10:25am

But the crucial part is political leadership and change.

As individuals we can only do so much, when the whole paradigm has to change. E.g., people forced to drive because no public transport is available.

NIMBY is a great thing: Don't do your dirty shit here, and hopefully others will fight for their turf, leaving the politicians and corporates no choice but to embrace cleaner technology that has a future.

They fricken love it when we all blame one another for not changing our ways.

Spuddups's picture
Spuddups's picture
Spuddups commented Wednesday, 26 Feb 2020 at 11:24am

I completely agree with you. I wasn't arguing that the protest action against the drilling in the Bight was a bad idea. My point is that now is a good time to think about the next step: ie consider making some changes to your lifestyle that can make a real difference. At the very least I reckon a vote for the Green Party is gonna help. Another small difference you can make is to pay the carbon offset charge when you pay for your airline tickets. Carbon offset for Wellington to Dunedin return is only $5 by the way.

Craig's picture
Craig's picture
Craig commented Wednesday, 26 Feb 2020 at 11:45am

What do they do with this offset?

Spuddups's picture
Spuddups's picture
Spuddups commented Wednesday, 26 Feb 2020 at 3:03pm

Good question. I don’t know the answer. Could just be greenwash I guess. I’d better look into it.

maka2000's picture
maka2000's picture
maka2000 commented Wednesday, 26 Feb 2020 at 8:53am

New Zealand facing the same problem. I've just been there a few months back and took a trip to milford sounds way (south island) for a couple of days, such a green and beautiful area however the locals told me their government has allowed some oil company to explore the area for gas and oil. if they start drilling it there that peace of land will be [email protected] up forever.

stunet's picture
stunet's picture
stunet commented Wednesday, 26 Feb 2020 at 9:01am

No need for the self-censorship, if it's fucked it's fucked.

Spuddups's picture
Spuddups's picture
Spuddups commented Wednesday, 26 Feb 2020 at 9:05am

Fuckin’ oath

Underdownunder's picture
Underdownunder's picture
Underdownunder commented Wednesday, 26 Feb 2020 at 1:23pm

They drilling right now off the east coast of lower nz

maka2000's picture
maka2000's picture
maka2000 commented Thursday, 27 Feb 2020 at 11:48am

yep, it's only half [email protected], this is only research and explanation, if it shows there's enough gas and oil they will make it big and no will listen to locals or protesters.

Blackdog's picture
Blackdog's picture
Blackdog commented Wednesday, 26 Feb 2020 at 10:54am

That’s some great news. Now they will probably go and find a economically viable 3rd world country to rape and pillage with no environmental studies or conditions required! Yet we all support them by buying their products. Well done peoples!

shortenism's picture
shortenism's picture
shortenism commented Wednesday, 26 Feb 2020 at 11:12am

Ferrier, I reckon you got a bit gnarly on the key board there cobba. Mishad's last paragraph goes to the heart of the issue.

"Saying the above, I'd be very interested on what grounds the Wildlife Society are taking NOPSEMA to court over this saga. This would be the most efficient way to protect Australia's coastline from future attempts - force the overseeing government agency to do their job, or in the least, highlight their short comings so more suitable policy can be established"

A mate of a mates mate may not not really know what is going on. Not sure anyone below the circle at the top does. Point is the fact it got as far as it did is the great tyranny that needs to be under the spotlight. A lot of energy, emotion, cost, time went into the protests/rally for alternatives, they always do, which has its positives. It brought people together around an issue etc, but it also triggered anger, hatred, frustration etc. Really NOPSEMA, Canavan et al, where / how did it get to this...? I agree Mishad, we need to follow the rabbit hole and hopefully the orgs around this can activate that next step with all our support to get some change at the top in the policy, structures and disclosures of these cabal agencies.

Lanky Dean's picture
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Lanky Dean commented Wednesday, 26 Feb 2020 at 12:13pm

Some thing to think about, next time we are at the petrol station filling up for a surf check, I guess.......

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Ronson commented Wednesday, 26 Feb 2020 at 2:43pm

I say people power played a massive role in this. They crunch numbers at the outset, that’s the way these things work. And in those numbers is a budget for dealing with roadblocks and hurdles. Maybe that budget blew out? Maybe the numbers were always touch and go? Doubt it though. Ill will is increasingly a bad thing to have for a business and people power matters more and more. A little ray of sunshine. Now’s not the moment for being cynical.

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Ronson commented Wednesday, 26 Feb 2020 at 2:43pm

I say people power played a massive role in this. They crunch numbers at the outset, that’s the way these things work. And in those numbers is a budget for dealing with roadblocks and hurdles. Maybe that budget blew out? Maybe the numbers were always touch and go? Doubt it though. Ill will is increasingly a bad thing to have for a business and people power matters more and more. A little ray of sunshine. Now’s not the moment for being cynical.

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Gary G commented Wednesday, 26 Feb 2020 at 3:47pm

Funny story; Equinor’s PR department reached around to your old mate Gary G a few months ago.

They’d heard that no Australian had turned down one of Gary’s propositions for a drilling in their high seas.

Gary told ‘em to garrrrrn get fucked!

Well done to all that led or contributed to this campaign.

I’ve created a monster. Cause nobody wants to ride faceys no more, they want Gary; I’m chopped liver.

But if ya want Gary this is what I’ll give ya: a little creatine kiss from a hard licker

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Brad Ferrier commented Wednesday, 26 Feb 2020 at 4:11pm

Shortenism. Fair enough, you can believe what you want to believe. No mate of mate of mate at all. A bunch of us met 2 weeks ago for dinner and drinks ( and we were not drinking our own bath water) and chewed the fat and nameless works as I said at the top for one of them. I can’t disclose his no for obvious reasons. I’ll go hard about anything fella, since birth, Environment first, everything else second. No life, jobs or surf on a dead planet. What’s your take on why Equinor withdrew?

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indo-dreaming commented Wednesday, 26 Feb 2020 at 5:29pm

Obviously was not enough money to be made or if there was the risk to make that money was too high against the cost of a spill etc

If the depth and location make it's as high risk as some say, imagine how much any insurance would cost and i guess they also have to take into account how much it would cost the company if there was a spill, there would be so many factors, one thing for certain it would have been about money.

And any public opposition would be close to irrelevant.

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brutus commented Thursday, 27 Feb 2020 at 8:48am

This win was more than just $'s , Equinor were lobbied at home by their Government and public opinion , once we made the issue clear.
There was more coverage overseas on the bushfires than here in Oz, and a picture of climate devastation was sold to the world....so public opinion was huge !

the whole $ argument does not stand up , as this project had been costed out to deliver long term benefits/profits , with fixed costs.....the reason they talk about the project in monetary terms is so they can come back and drill when it's more politically viable .

I witnessed first hand how much effort and conviction individuals went out and rallied surf communities all around Australia and created a sense of community , where everybody involved actually became part of the surf movement / paddle outs...to see and hear the whole demographic spectrum work together, shows what can be done when " united we stand , divided we fall?

So it has been an amazing fight , and to see young people galavanized together and win ...power to them....and lot's more to come !!

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indo-dreaming commented Thursday, 27 Feb 2020 at 11:37am

Garbage, if it was viable and easy big money to be made, they would just go ahead, maybe a bit of negative media for a month or two then apart from a small group everyone's focus would move on to something different and then they would just go on doing business and making big money..

Any public opposition is water off a ducks back, end of the day almost everything comes down to money.

It's not like oil companies have a good image anyway, or what are people going to do boycott oil?

People just want to think or feel they have made a difference, nothing more, i guess that is just human nature.

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maka2000 commented Thursday, 27 Feb 2020 at 11:53am

I agree, there's no people power done at all, there's no people power. As you've said if it was profitable they'll just drill it, all protesters would be punished by corrupt government what we have right now also all protesters would become outlaw and get criminal records or more shit.

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indo-dreaming commented Thursday, 27 Feb 2020 at 1:41pm

I wouldn't go that far they wouldn't be punished unless acting illegally, but they would just be ignored, its really not that hard to ignore opposition to these things, these things make news for 5 minutes and then just float around social media and the only people that see the issue is the people in that space.

Things like paddle outs or petitions or social media support or whatever don't hold any weight unless it affects the company in a dollar way, but like i said, its not like oil companies have some great image to protect and its not like people are going to boycott oil, something even the surfboard industry currently rely on.

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brutus commented Thursday, 27 Feb 2020 at 2:37pm

It's pretty funny when I read comments that give NO credence to the power of people or a person......history is littered with examples .....of one man changing the World!

Don't sell short a " community based action group" you will hear a lot more in the future , because most of the people who were/are involved in "Fight for the Bight" will now keep up the pressure...because we vote , shit can get done on a political level it just takes time and a long term strategy!

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Hamishnic commented Friday, 28 Feb 2020 at 3:52pm

Agreed,
Equinor require social license to operate, and politicians / government completely misread this sentiment of people who in turn chose activism,

A fantastic display of people power!

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brutus commented Thursday, 27 Feb 2020 at 2:38pm

Wow do you live in China or Russia?

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Rabbits68 commented Thursday, 27 Feb 2020 at 12:23pm

Crystal Clear

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brutus commented Thursday, 27 Feb 2020 at 2:30pm

ah Indo one mans garbage is another man's treasure.......I think the baby boomers are the group that worships money and everything that money can buy , which taints your world view , c'est La vie!

I find it sad that there are older people out there still living in the glory of yesteryear , and that todays youth has to fight "them" for their futures.

I am sure you are aware that Equinor is 67% owned by the Norwegian Govt/People and the pressure they put on Equinor was a result of seeing the angst in Australia and the Norwegians pride themselves on being greener and socially responsible...so your comment "It's not like oil companies have a good image anyway, or what are people going to do boycott oil?" depends who owns the oil Co......

So getting your facts right , is the start in having a relevant opinion!

amb's picture
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amb commented Thursday, 27 Feb 2020 at 4:38pm

Totally agree i've never seen an issue that fired people up across Australia in my time (i missed Vietnam War). Coming from SA we are so appreciative that the rest of Aus actually cared. Also agree with the last point, every time i have met a Norwegian person and they find out your from Australia they would apologize and say how embarrassed they were for there govt (having said that i only met 3)

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ojackojacko commented Friday, 28 Feb 2020 at 11:31am

i reckon sean doherty in his article on coastalwatch makes a relevant point. on top of the public awareness in norway about the opposition to the project in australia, the recent bushfires (huge news worldwide) suddenly made a bad-looking project into a disastrous-looking project

how much it was about this or just the bottom line - we can argue for ever. but it's a good observation

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brutus commented Friday, 28 Feb 2020 at 9:49am

what no come back Indo?

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shortenism commented Wednesday, 26 Feb 2020 at 5:20pm

Fair enough Brad, agree 100% environment first every time but its hard putting out fires all the time. Always better to start with prevention as you know.. Its great for you to share your insight and apologies if I came out guns blazing;) Your mate might be the best info we get on this, which is the tyranny. To me what I pick up from all the banter around this issue is the uncertainty and mistrust in how/why they got as far as they did and then vanished with a very limited explanation. If its correct what you are saying that they did withdraw because of a lack of community support (or strong community opposition) then they really need to say that openly or the ACCC should go em for a false and misleading claim. We want answers, we need to learn from this or us or our kids or their kids will be back going through the same thing over and over. My take is I dont know and that is the issue at the moment, which brings me back to Mishad's call to hopefully keep the organised groups charging to enact a good look at the whole process to shake it up and see what drops, hopefully get some long term systemic changes to the way these things work, so we can all have a bit more confidence in the process and sleep better at night. I should ad its always interesting when a Minister resigns half way through something like this with plenty of unrelated reasons why.. I'm sure there is some dot connecting in all this but ultimately may never know. Cheers

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Terminal commented Wednesday, 26 Feb 2020 at 8:51pm

Maybe not viable relative to building a rig/well in antarctica with that new "research" airport being built? who's footing that bill btw?

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truebluebasher commented Thursday, 27 Feb 2020 at 3:56am

Round 1/2/3....
Appea : Australian Petroleum Production & Exploration Association Limited.
Media Release ...Prior to the approval, Equinor had discussed it's plans with hundreds of South Australian community leaders and the broader public, many of whom will be disappointed that the potential economic and energy benefits success in the bight will now be at least delayed.
The GAB remains an area of High prospectivity for oil & gas development.
https://www.appea.com.au/media_release/equinor-withdraws-from-the-great-...

MP Pitt Resources: (Interview with ABC)
'' It is expensive in the Bight because it's deep & there are challenging conditions. Our intention as a Government is to push on. We are looking for further oil reserves and further opportunities for the resources sector because it drives jobs and drives our economy."
https://www.minister.industry.gov.au/ministers/pitt/transcripts/intervie...

Mantra was same as in Pitt's statement... (Enviro Plan has been Approved)
Essential for the good of the People of the Commonwealth to proceed...for the Queen!

"I want to Highlight that Equinor worked within the rigorous approval processes in place for this project and the company's environmental plan had been accepted by NOPSEMA."

https://www.minister.industry.gov.au/ministers/pitt/media-releases/equin...

Sounds like fast tracking rubber stamping as usual....#1 Priority to get this started.
It's the Lib Government driving GAB exploration, the companies simply take the bait!
tbb is a dreamer, just not feeling the love...Back & White full steam ahead! Sorry!

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Craig commented Thursday, 27 Feb 2020 at 9:55am

JP Morgan commisioned a wholly independent study regarding climate change and carbon emissions and its findings are..

‘We cannot rule out catastrophic outcomes where human life as we know it is threatened.’

Carbon emissions in the coming decades ‘will continue to affect the climate for centuries to come in a way that is likely to be irreversible,’ they said, adding that climate change action should be motivated ‘by the likelihood of extreme events.’

‘It is a global problem but no global solution is in sight,’ the report added.

Further on this JP Morgan (the world’s largest financier of the fossil-fuel industry), announced Tuesday that it will end fossil-fuel loans for Arctic oil drilling and phase out loans for coal mining.

Further, JP Morgan will offer $200 billion in environmental and economic development deals to help support green energy projects.

But it will continue to fund oil and gas projects in the Lower 48 (rest of the US)..

https://www.washingtonpost.com/climate-environment/jpmorgan-chase-takes-baby-step-toward-curbing-fossil-fuel-loans/2020/02/24/5932f82a-5745-11ea-9000-f3cffee23036_story.html

The tide is slowly turning..

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zenagain commented Thursday, 27 Feb 2020 at 12:21pm

I'll probs fuck this up but here goes:-

First, i think the outcome is fantastic and great news for everybody concerned with protecting one of the worlds ever diminishing, pristine coastlines. The cynic in me however says this was more driven by economics rather than a relative handful of people doing mass paddle outs. Petro-chemical companies are motivated by numbers not evironmental responsibility and the millions they spend on compliance is something they write down as a cost of business which varies from country to country, nothing more. Globally, the price of oil has plummeted and is actually forecast to decrease even more despite the actions of OPEC and the other oil producing cartels. The number crunchers obviously have a cut-off and that point no doubt had been reached.

The optomist in me however says this was driven by people power. Unlike the strike for climate change and their cohort, Equinor is a clear and tangible target. Having a clear purpose helped galvanise the people and enabled them to rally around a common cause. I'm not saying climate change is a not a common cause but to me it's ambiguous and many people either outside that sphere or sitting on the fence view the participants at the very least with mild disdain or at the worst as total hypocrites. Greta can be a very polarising person- saying her childhood was stolen while taking a seat on the world stage and sailing around on a cool boat would be viewed by some as a youthful time well spent. Child that had her stepdad recently jailed for raping her continuously for years, or the kids that were recently torched, to the kids picking through rubbish in Bangladesh, or child soldiers or whatever, I think people see that as a more apt description of a childhood stolen. Greta is perfect though, she's a chick, she's a kid and she's disabled. Untouchable.

Anyway, rambling, I think if it comes down to Equinor pulling out as a result of public opposition it's because most people can see A + B = C and that is what united people of all stripes to focus their efforts towards a common goal. I agree with some commenters above that Equinor must come clean as to the reasons why. Somehow I think they they will cite commercial in confidence and keep the embers glowing. That's how these fuckers roll.

Watashi wa metabo oyagi desu.

brutus's picture
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brutus commented Thursday, 27 Feb 2020 at 2:42pm

Hi Zen , 67% of Equinor is owned by the Norwegian Govt / People.....so your optimist view is valid , as Equinor is not like most of the multi-national oil Co's!

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brainiac commented Friday, 28 Feb 2020 at 1:42pm

From early on the piece Equinor have said they would not proceed if the people of Australia resisted.n That we did. They will never admit to it now as that only empowers people further to stand against any further proposals they try and get through.
We need to get rid of Scomo , be careful about who we vote in and then all make change together. Movement always starts from the bottom up we need to be cohesive.

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Fliplid commented Friday, 28 Feb 2020 at 4:18pm

The links of TBB says it all. Even though Equinor has pulled out the government is still keen for the development. So, round one to the protesters, here's to round two

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inzider commented Thursday, 5 Mar 2020 at 6:18pm

Recent wildcat drilling off the bottom of the south island in NZ was a fizzer. P&A (plug and abandon). Rig has set sail for the north island to commence driling
Meanwhile in Victoria a rig has nearly finished drilling a hole 7200 metres long, not far from your famed big wave spots.
No protesters seen anywhere near that hole.