Equinor ends oil exploration project in the Bight

Minister for Resources, Water and Northern Australia Keith Pitt says the decision by Norwegian-based energy company Equinor to discontinue its oil exploration program in the Great Australian Bight, offshore from South Australia, is disappointing but the company is not leaving Australia.

“Equinor has made it clear this was a commercial decision and the company will continue to be part of the Australian oil and gas industry,” Minister Pitt said.

“I know many will find Equinor’s decision not to proceed with this oil exploration project in the Great Australian Bight extremely disappointing, and it is particularly hard for South Australia.

“The Liberals and Nationals Government remains committed to encouraging the safe development of Australia’s offshore petroleum resources, which is overseen by a world-class independent regulator in the National Offshore Petroleum Safety and Environmental Management Authority (NOPSEMA).

“The Bight Basin remains one of Australia’s frontier basins and any proposals for new oil and gas fields in this area will be assessed fairly and independently.

“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.

“Since Equinor first farmed into the title in 2013, the company has undertaken a rigorous and very public process of consultation and approvals process.”

Equinor continues to have an interest in oil and gas exploration in Australia, including an exploration permit offshore Western Australia.

Media contact: Minister Pitt’s office: 02 6277 7180