Australian kept mute on an offshore oil and gas company that leaked around 10,500 litres of oil into the ocean, but had decided to keep mum on the details of the company that leaked the oil, and its operations.
In a report this week by the National Offshore Petroleum Safety and Environmental Management Authority (NOPSEMA), the mention of the leak was reported, but with limited details, and also noting the leaking was found in a recent routine inspection.
According to Nopsema, the leak was caused by seal degrading, and the regulators that were asked to investigate the spill were working before disconnecting the platform. The leaking happened for two months while the platform was undergoing maintenance, and the leak was only discovered after they got back from the maintenance.
Companies are compelled by law to report leaks when they happen, and according to Andrew Hopkins, an expert in offshore oil safety, he said;
They should release the names of companies concerned because one of the values of this is the naming and shaming approach – that companies that know they will be named in the case of an incident like this, they are going to be less likely to do it.
It’s not as if this is an unpredictable unforeseeable event.
Andrew said that if the requirement for checking out the seal is working before they could be relied on is not in the safety clause, then the failure is from the regulators, who was suppose to keep risk at his minimal.
Nathaniel Pelle, a campaigner at Greenpeace Australia Pacific, said that;
Australians, and especially those who rely on the ocean for their livelihood, should be deeply concerned by reports that the national oil regulator has withheld information from the public about a 10,500-litre oil leak for over 12 months.
There’s absolutely no justification for continuing to keep the company involved or the location of the oil spill a secret.
Any spilled oil is unacceptable but the US oil industry suffered three spills over 8,000 litres in 2016, despite producing 30 times the oil that Australia does. It’s farcical that the industry claims to have a safe record in Australia.