APPEA Strongly Supports Legislation for Montara Well Leak Inquiry

The Australian Petroleum Production and Exploration Association strongly supports the legislation to provide for an inquiry into the Montara well leak, introduced into Parliament today by the Minister for Resources and Energy, the Hon Martin Ferguson AO MP.

The inquiry will include a rigorous assessment of the events that led to this incident. It will also identify any measures that may be required to minimize the risk of such an incident occurring again.

These events should not happen and the industry places great importance on ensuring that they do not happen, indeed this is the first incident of its type in over 25 years.

The response to the incident was a textbook implementation of the emergency management plans that are in place if an incident does occur.

The Federal Government and the relevant authorities responsible for the management and containment of this incident including the Australian Maritime Safety Authority (AMSA), the National Offshore Petroleum Safety Authority (NOPSA), Northern Territory Government agencies and the responsible company are to be commended for their swift and expert response.

The industry and the company are working closely with AMSA, who have operational control of managing the incident, to ensure that it has all the resources necessary.

The safety of personnel has been the number one consideration of the company and relevant authorities in managing this incident. The plan to stop the well leak has been developed by the industry technical experts in consultation with the relevant government authorities.

This is a difficult operation that has involved the consideration of a range of possible options that have been fully assessed against the technical requirements.

The experts have determined that the option being implemented is the one most likely to contain the well leak safely and effectively.

Comments by individuals or groups that are inaccurate, alarmist or misleading about the safety, environment or technical consideration of successfully managing and containing the well leak show no respect to the hard work of the dedicated experts managing this incident. This hard work has ensured that no injuries have occurred and minimised the environmental effects.