BP has withdrawn its application for a proposed drilling program in the Great Australian Bight in offshore South Australia.

Australia’s National Offshore Petroleum Safety and Environmental Management Authority (NOPSEMA) said that BP Developments Australia Pty withdrew their environment plan submissions for the Great Australian Bight Exploration Drilling Program.

The company also withdrew its submission for the Great Australian Bight Exploration Drilling Program (Stromlo-1 and Whinham-1).

Prior to withdrawing the environment plan submissions, NOPSEMA had requested further information from BP about  areas relevant to the environmental management of the proposed drilling.

The regulator had asked for more information about potential oil spill scenarios and arrangements as well as the environmental management systems that would be in place at the site.

NOPSEMA said that it will not undertake any further assessment of the environment plan submissions.

NOPSEMA said it will also initiate the process to withdraw acceptance of the well operations management plans for the Stromlo-1 and Whinham-1 exploration wells.

The agency added that it will manage the well operation plan withdrawal process in accordance with regulatory requirements.

BP said in October that it would not move forward with its Great Australian Bight plans.

BP said the decision followed “the review and refresh of BP’s upstream strategy earlier this year, which included focusing exploration on opportunities likely to create value in the near to medium term, primarily building on BP’s significant existing upstream positions.”

The company added that it has determined that the project “will not be able to compete for capital investment with other upstream opportunities in its global portfolio in the foreseeable future.”

The company consulted with Statoil, BP’s joint venture partner in the project, before announcing its decision.

BP said that Norway’s Statoil “fully” understands “BP’s change in strategic direction and accept BP’s decision.”

BP said in October that the decision will not impact a rig contract with Diamond Offshore Drilling for the provision of a new Moss CS60E design semisubmersible drilling rig tied to the project.

Statoil acquired a 30 percent interest in the Great Australian Bight licences in 2013.

BP operates the licenses with a 70 percent interest.


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