BP Abandons Great Australian Bight

Published at 08:37AM - 11/10/16

BP announced today it has decided not to proceed with its exploration drilling programme in the Great Australian Bight (GAB), offshore South Australia.

The supermajor’s decision follows a strategy review and the conclusion that the project will not be able to compete for capital investment with other upstream opportunities in its portfolio.

“We have looked long and hard at our exploration plans for the Great Australian Bight, but in the current external environment, we will only pursue frontier exploration opportunities if they are competitive and aligned to our strategic goals. After extensive and careful consideration, this has proven not to be the case for our project to explore in the Bight,” BP’s Managing Director for Exploration and Production in Australia, Claire Fitzpatrick, said.

BP Abandons Great Australian Bight

“This decision isn’t a result of a change in our view of the prospectivity of the region, nor 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 added.

The executive explained that BP had already informed the government of its decision and consulted with its joint venture (JV) partner Statoil, who fully understands and accepts the decision.

BP Shipping is one of a number of shipping companies which transports crude oil to Western Australia’s Kwinana Refinery.
BP is highly present in the LNG transportation sector in Australia

“This decision has been incredibly difficult and we acknowledge it will be felt across the South Australia region,” Fitzpatrick added.

“We expect to continue to consider further opportunities to invest and grow our business here,” she stated further.

BP Keeps Diamond Rig Contract

BP had been awarded exploration licences for four blocks in the Ceduna area of the GAB in 2011 and seismic acquisition was undertaken by early 2012.

Although BP had proposed to drill four wells in the area, the drilling programme was rejected by the regulatory body (NOPSEMA) and the second drilling programme had not received a final decision yet.

According to BP’s statement, this will not impact its contract with Diamond Offshore Drilling for the provision of a new Moss CS60E design semi-submersible drilling rig, built by Hyundai Heavy Industries.