About Bloody Time: Woodside forced to finally clean toxic ocean mess
PERTH/SYDNEY, 20 October 2023 - Greenpeace Australia Pacific has welcomed reports today that Woodside has FINALLY removed a toxic oil tower from the West Australian coastline. Greenpeace activists occupied the tower in April and demanded that the fossil fuel giant clean up its toxic waste.
Woodside’s Nganhurra Riser Turret Mooring, an 83 metre long, 2,452 tonne discarded piece of industrial waste infrastructure that Woodside left in the ocean near biodiversity hotspots Ningaloo Reef and Exmouth Gulf.
The riser turret mooring reportedly contains toxic fire retardant foam and was slowly sinking after Woodside failed to maintain it. Woodside was repeatedly ordered by the offshore oil and gas regulator NOPSEMA to remove the structure – orders that the fossil fuel giant instead ignored.
In May, Greenpeace Australia Pacific activists boarded the structure, dropped a banner that read “Woodside, Don’t be a Tosser” and affixed a permanent warning sign to the structure.
Greenpeace Australia Pacific CEO David Ritter welcomed the news today.
“There’s no coincidence in the timing. Woodside has been utterly shameless in dumping its toxic trash in the oceans and ignoring instructions from environmental authorities to remove it. The company has been forced to act because of real pressure from Australians who care about protecting our beautiful natural environment, and from Greenpeace.”
With a decision on Woodside’s Burrup Hub likely before the year is out, Ritter urged parliamentarians to consider whether Woodside could be trusted to look after our oceans.
“Woodside has started work on the first phase of its monstrous gas project, the Burrup Hub in Western Australia. The Burrup Hub is Australia’s dirtiest gas drilling project, with two monstrous new offshore gas fields, hundreds of kilometres of pipelines and the expansion of two onshore plants to process Woodside’s gas for export. It’s here that they plan to dredge an endangered turtle habitat and conduct seismic blasting that can injure whales and other marine life,” Ritter said.
“Having fumbled around to get its toxic trash out of our oceans, Woodside can’t be trusted not to make an even bigger mess drilling for new gas at the Burrup Hub.
“Every day, more and more people are waking up to the danger Woodside’s dirty plans pose to our oceans and our climate. Together, we’re challenging Woodside from the courtrooms to the oceans.
“We urge parliamentarians to do their part in preventing the Burrup Hub climate disaster from going ahead,” Ritter added.
- In October 2019, NOPSEMA criticised Woodside for skipping a 10 year inspection and for failing to maintain the structure: ‘Woodside has failed and continues to fail to preserve the condition of the riser turret mooring (RTM) and remove the RTM for onshore disposal.’
- In May 2023, Greenpeace Australia Pacific also released never-before-seen footage of a second discarded oil tower owned by Woodside, which has been allowed to sink to the ocean floor off the coast of Onslow, Western Australia, posing a hazard. To Greenpeace Australia Pacific’s understanding, this tower has not yet been removed by Woodside from our oceans.
For more information or to arrange an interview please contact Lisa Wills on 0456 206 021 and/or [email protected]
Woodside’s Burrup Hub project is the most polluting fossil fuel project proposed in Australia. It will release 6.1 billion tonnes of carbon emissions in its lifetime to 2070. You can find out more about Woodside’s proposed climate-wrecking gas plans here.