BP calls quits on exploration in the Bight

BP has announced it will not go ahead with its gas-drilling exploration project in the Great Australian Bite, off the coast of South Australia.

In a statement issued today, BP has said it determined the project would not be able to compete for capital investment with other upstream opportunities in its global portfolio.

BP managing director for exploration and production Claire Fitzpatrick said BP had looked at the plans for the Bight but determined the current environment wasn’t conducive to undertake exploration of the area.

“This decision isn’t a result of a change in our view of the prosperity of the region, or of the ongoing regulatory process run by the independent regulator NOPSEMA, it is an outcome of our strategy and the relative competitiveness of this project in our portfolio,” she said.

“We have made significant progress with preparations for drilling in the Bight and with the support of communities and federal, state and local governments.”

“This decision has been incredibly difficult and we acknowledge it will be felt across the South Australian region.

The APPEA (Australian Petroleum Production and Exploration Association) issued a statement saying it was ‘disappointing’ BP would not be undertaking the project.

“BP’s decision is a stark reminder that global investment in Australian resource projects cannot be taken for granted,” APPEA director Matthew Doman said.

“Success in the Bight would ease Australia’s reliance on imported oil and deliver South Australia much-needed new investment and jobs.”