As Western Australia sweats, Woodside rushes on Scarborough
31 January 2022
It’s been a busy January for Woodside, the company behind what would be Australia’s largest-ever fossil fuel project
© Greenpeace / Conservation Cou
Temperatures in the Pilbara, in the north of Western Australia, soared to a record-breaking 50.7˚C earlier this month. Since then, Woodside and their CEO Meg O’Neill have been ruffling together the financiers and construction partners to begin work on Scarborough: a deep sea gas drilling project that would pump gas back to those same shores, and create more climate pollution than any other Australian fossil fuel project.
Here’s a look at what’s been happening:
Three of Australia’s biggest banks, NAB, ANZ and Westpac, supported a new loan to help bring a US company, Global Infrastructure Partners, on to the project. Community members have slammed the move, which would violate the banks’ own 2050 net zero carbon commitments.
What’s more, a new report released by the Australia Institute has uncovered that offshore gas in Western Australia generates little government revenue, as most gas is exported abroad. In fact, Woodside was found to pay no royalties on its Pluto LNG gas processing facility, which it seeks to expand with Scarborough — underscoring how Woodside is effectively subsidised to extract gas and wreck the climate.
A climate catastrophe brewing
Scarborough is forecast to spew emissions equivalent to 15 coal fired power stations, and lay 430 kilometres of pipeline through pristine whale habitat. The project ignores the International Energy Agency’s warnings that no new fossil fuel projects can go ahead if we’re to stay under 1.5˚C of global warming. Despite this, Woodside plans to pump out climate pollution for many years to come. Scarborough is just the first stage of the full Burrup Hub, Woodside’s planned gas mega-project. If this dangerous fossil-fuel development is completed, it will be operational until 2055 – well past the timeframe we need to phase out fossil fuels for a safer climate.
Woodside is trying to move fast – but we won’t let them. We can still stop construction if we raise the alarm. Share this post and let them know Australians choose #WhalesNotWoodside