Whales, Woodside and deep-sea drilling. Why we must stop the Scarborough gas project.

20 October 2021

Fossil fuel behemoth Woodside wants to build a risky new deep-sea gas mine in prime marine habitat off the coast of WA. And honestly, it’s hard to think of a worse idea.

You’ll be hearing a lot more from us about Woodside’s disaster-in-waiting. So to get you started, here’s why we absolutely can’t let the Scarborough Gas Project happen.

Reason: It’s part of the most climate polluting project EVER proposed in Australia.

Yep, you read that right. Woodside’s Scarborough gas project is the first stage of the most climate-polluting project EVER proposed in Australia, the Burrup Hub.

To put it simply, there’s no way we can live with a safe climate if this project goes ahead. For a safe future we need to shut down existing fossil fuel projects, and fast. Allowing new fossil fuel projects to develop isn’t even an option.



As world-leaders meet in Glasgow to discuss the urgent, immediate climate action we need to see, Woodside is forging ahead with a climate disaster that flies in the face of common sense.

To protect us from worsening extreme weather and bushfires. To make sure our farmers can continue to grow enough food. For our Pacific family. We will stop this project. We have to.

Reason: It will devastate WA’s unique marine wildlife

The Scarborough gas project is a direct threat to some of Australia’s most extraordinary marine life.

The Scarborough development involves blasting and dredging kilometers of seabed, driving giant concrete piles into the ocean floor and dumping millions of tons of crushed coral and rock within the Dampier Archipelago – the richest area of marine biodiversity in Western Australia.

The area is home to thousands of species of whales, sharks, fish, turtles and corals. It’s on whale migration paths, and home to many threatened species.

The risk of damage from the project is too great even if accident-prone Woodside avoids a major spill. But if the worst does happen, then there are eight marine parks and protected areas in the firing line. That’s terrifying news for WA’s precious oceanlife.

Reason: Deep-sea drilling means deep-sea accidents

When greedy fossil fuel companies drill in our oceans, disasters strike. When BP’s Deepwater Horizon oil disaster struck in 2010, it spewed toxic oil into the sea, directly affecting 180,000km2 of ocean. 11 people were killed. It was among the greatest human-caused environmental disasters in modern history.

And earlier this year, in the Gulf of Mexico, the ocean caught fire. Across the planet we looked on in horror at the most frighteningly unnatural sight. It was caused by a leak from an underwater gas pipeline. Woodside’s Scarborough gas project would mean 430km of underwater gas pipeline through WA’s oceans.

If things go well for Woodside, it’s a disaster. If things go badly, it’s a catastrophe.

Reason: Woodside has already had an oil spill off the coast of WA!

Yep, you read that right. Woodside has already had an oil spill off WA’s coastline. In 2016, one of Woodside’s deep sea wells malfunctioned and led to an oil spill. The leak lasted for two entire months, pumping oil directly into WA’s marine environment.

If they’ve done it once, what’s to stop it happening again? We shouldn’t let any fossil fuel company drill WA’s ocean floor, much less a company who has already shown they can’t be trusted.

Reason: The rest of their environmental track record is pretty dodgy too.

One glance at Woodside’s wrap-sheet tells us all we need to know: we can’t trust this company. Here are a couple more of their lowlights.

  • When one of Woodside’s deep-sea gad wells ran dry, it was time to clean up their mess. Their solution? Try and just leave 400 tonnes of plastic on the seafloor – claiming it was an ‘artificial reef’. That’s 400 tonnes of plastic at the bottom of the ocean, all because Woodside won’t clean up its mess.
  • Woodside failed to maintain a huge 83m offshore structure, so now it wants to just… sink it in the ocean. You might notice a theme here. Can’t be bothered cleaning up after yourself? No worries, Woodside will just sink it in the ocean and let the sea life suffer for it.

You can help stop Woodside’s toxic Scarborough gas project.

Say NO to deep-sea drilling in WA’s pristine oceans.  

Support our urgent petition.