Equinor abandons plans to drill for oil in the Bight
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.