Australian Regulator Rejects BP Oil Exploration on Environmental Grounds


SYDNEY, Nov 17 (Reuters) – An Australian regulator rejected an application from BP Plc to explore for oil off the coast of Southern Australia, saying the energy major's proposal failed to meet environmental standards.

The National Offshore Petroleum Safety and Environmental Management Authority (NOPSEMA) said BP's plan to drill in an area known as the Great Australian Bight "does not yet meet the criteria for acceptance under the environment regulations", in a statement posted on its website.

A spokesperson for BP in Australia was not immediately available for comment.

The authority said it had informed BP of its decision and the oil and gas producer now had the opportunity to submit a modified drilling exploration plan.

BP said in an Oct. 1 submission to NOPSEMA that it wanted to drill in the Great Australian Bight from 2016, in water depths between 1,000 and 2,500 metres (between 3,200 and 8,300 feet), and as close as 395 kilometres (245 miles) to the city of Port Lincoln in the state of South Australia.

(Reporting by Byron Kaye; Editing by Tom Hogue)



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