Sydney: Energy giant Chevron on Friday joined BP in ditching plans to drill in the Great Australian Bight citing weak oil prices, with environmentalists urging other major players to follow suit.
The company had planned to drill exploration wells to look for oil or natural gas after acquiring two deepwater blocks spanning more than 32,000 square kilometres off the pristine South Australian coast in 2013.
But its plans sparked environmental concern with the huge Bight a haven for whales, seals, dolphins and penguins and home to sea eagles and albatross. British oil giant BP abandoned its plans to drill in the area last year after reviewing its global exploration programme.
Chevron Australia managing director Nigel Hearne said while the Bight had big potential, low oil prices had forced it to concentrate on other projects. He stressed it was a commercial decision and not related to environmental concerns or regulatory issues.
“We appreciate the strong support from governments, regulators and the local community for our plans to explore for hydrocarbons offshore South Australia,” he said in a statement. — AFP