Santos denies fault over dead dolphins near oil spill

Santos oil operations on the Varanus Islands (dolphins)
Santos oil operations on the Varanus Islands

Australian gas producer Santos has said three dead dolphins found floating belly-up near oil it spilled off the West Australian coast died of something else, according to a report in WA Today.

In March this year approximately 25,000L of oil leaked from a hose Santos used to load a tanker moored off its Varanus Island gas processing facility.

Related article: Tiwi Islander’s victory: Santos to vacate Barossa gas

The spill was not made public by Santos or regulators, and when revealed by WA Today, Santos said the environmental impact was negligible.

Santos was asked by the news outlet if any dead dolphins were sighted near the oil spill, however, the company did not provide a response.

Photos show a number of dolphins floating belly-up near the tanker Catalan Sea, with oil on the water. The images were not published out of concern that the employment of workers at Varanus Island could be affected.

A Santos spokesperson said three dead dolphins were seen near the spill and reported to authorities.

“These sightings were a couple of hours after the incident, in which time no harm would have resulted from this incident,” she said.

Senator Pete Whish-Wilson posted a screenshot of the WA Today article on his Instagram, commenting scathingly, “Yeah righto…”.

Related article: Woodside and Santos announce surging revenues

“Reckon you might get more than a kick in the arse if you spilled 25,000 litres of oil in the ocean and killed dolphins, other marine life?

“I’m sure that’s just a drop in the ocean to Santos and their massive profits…”

Read the full story here.

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