Media Releases - 22 July 2021

Woodside’s decommissioning track record should make them ineligible to own BHP’s ageing petroleum assets

The Wilderness Society is calling on the Commonwealth Government to make clear to the market that they will not accept any transfer or sale of ageing oil and gas assets to Woodside, including from BHP, because of their appalling track record in decommissioning.

The Wilderness Society’s Manager of Policy and Strategy, Tim Beshara says, “The last thing Australia needs is for Woodside to take control of more ageing petroleum assets. When it comes to decommissioning, Woodside has been shown to be the least trusted and least trustworthy company around.

“It would be a terrible move to let BHP transfer ownership of Australia's oldest petroleum assets, making up some of the largest decommissioning liabilities in the Australian marketplace, to a company with a track-record like Woodside. It could be the Northern Endeavour on steroids. The taxpayer will lose, workers will lose and the environment will be put at enormous risk.

“We implore regulators to consider the question: ‘What has Woodside done to earn the trust that they can safely manage and complete Australia’s largest decommissioning job?’

“Between the Northern Endeavour and the Nganhurra, where decommissioning was so far delayed that the condition of the facility deteriorated to the point where it could no longer be decommissioned as planned, can you imagine the mess they’d make out of Australia’s oldest oil infrastructure in Bass Strait?

“It’s not a just transition if BHP cut and run from their decommissioning liabilities. BHP has made enormous profits from Bass Strait for over 50 years and they need to stump up for the clean up costs and make sure it’s done properly,” Tim Beshara concluded.

For further comment contact Tim Beshara on 0437 878786