Huge win for the environment
Friends of the Earth Australia (FoEA) is congratulating Esso Australia for saying it has rejected the idea of dumping retired oil and gas platforms into the ocean to form fishing reefs.
In Melbourne consultations today, Esso told FoEA the good environmental news that they would now remove the platforms — including the long steel support structures or ‘jackets’ — from the ocean.
In doing so, Esso (a company owned by ExxonMobil) said it acknowledged the science that does not support the artificial reefs idea. Esso is planning to remove 13 retired oil and gas platforms from Bass Strait in coming years. FoEA Offshore Fossil Gas Campaigner Jeff Waters said that the hundreds of thousands of tonnes of steel for the jackets could now be brought ashore for recycling.
“Victoria needs steel to build wind turbines,” Jeff Waters said, “and we can use renewable electricity to recycle the steel from the platforms.”
“What we need now is a world’s best practice, state of the art oil platform recycling yard, which will trap all toxins as the platforms are broken down, cleaned and recycled.”
Jeff Waters said a site in Geelong was being considered for a recycling centre, and that South Australia was also hoping to get into the act by building a heavy-lifting ship for decommissioning.
“It’s a $60 billion national industry waiting to happen,” Jeff Waters said.
“The government should extend and raise the temporary oil and gas decommissioning levy to make industry pay for it.”
“It’s a drop in the ocean for them".