Media Releases - 06 June 2024

Senate Estimates reveals second spill in two months at ExxonMobil’s dilapidated Bass Strait platforms

Today during Senate Estimates, the National Offshore Petroleum Safety and Environment Management Authority (NOPSEMA) revealed that on 29 May 2024, a spill at ExxonMobile’s Marlin platform in the Bass Strait caused approximately 200 litres of hydrocarbons to leak into the environment. A recording is available here.

This is the second spill incident in just two months at ExxonMobile’s dilapidated oil and gas infrastructure, following a pipeline leak in April of this year at the West Kingfish platform.

In a separate but connected revelation, NOSPEMA revealed that a seal “nibbled” on a Remote Operated Vehicle (underwater drone), delaying Esso’s attempt to find the source of a previous pipeline leak in April.

Fern Cadman, Fossil Fuel Campaigner for the Wilderness Society, said, “Exxon’s second spill in two months demonstrates its infrastructure in the Bass Strait is falling to bits and should have been cleaned up long before now. Australia’s oil and gas regulator has been missing in action for years in its role to ensure oil and gas clean up actually happens, and now it’s the marine environment suffering.

“It is alarming that responding to the first leak was delayed by what could have easily been anticipated, the presence of a seal. This delay could have been catastrophic in the instance of a bigger spill and it’s clear that the response plan wasn’t fit to deal with basic things like the presence of playful sea life."