Australian offshore oil and gas authority Nopsema is seeking further information from BP Developments Australia regarding the company’s environment plan for drilling of the Stromlo-1 and Whinham-1 exploration wells in the Great Australian Bight.
BP is expected to provide the information by 28 October, following which the regulator will restart the assessment.
If required, the company can request an extension of this timeframe.
Nopsema said that a request for further information is a normal part of its environment plan assessment process.
Further information may be sought from a titleholder on any matter in an environment plan to inform its evaluation of whether the plan does or does not meet the criteria to be accepted under the environment regulations.
With these regulations in place, Nopsema will be able to take required time to ensure a thorough and rigorous assessment is conducted.
Non-profit land conservation organisation the Wilderness Society said that Nopsema should end the farce over BP’s plans to drill for oil in the Great Australian Bight.
Wilderness Society South Australia director Peter Owen said: “One would expect BP to go to great lengths to show the regulator it had learnt from its Gulf of Mexico disaster and submit an application that far exceeds the required standards.
“Instead, it has again submitted a substandard application in the hope it will be approved.
“BP, just this month, finally released a summary of its oil spill modelling that shows a spill from an uncontained blowout from its proposed Stromlo-1 well is guaranteed to impact the South Australian coast, and could reach Adelaide in 20 days.”