SYDNEY, 16 July, 2021 – Santos and Murphy Oil have today announced they will abandon plans to drill for oil in the Great Australian Bight, in what Greenpeace is calling a momentous win for people and planet.

Whales in the Great Australian Bight
Drone footage of Bunda Cliffs in the Great Australian Bight. The Bight is a pristine stretch of ocean off the southern coastal fringe of Western Australia, South Australia and Victoria. It is a globally significant whale nursery, home to one of only two southern right whale calving grounds in the world, and a feeding area for blue whales, humpback whales, orcas and sea lions. It is also one of Australia’s most important fisheries. In fact, 85% of marine life in the Great Australian Bight is found nowhere else on earth.

“This is an incredible win for all of those who relentlessly campaigned for years to protect the Great Australian Bight from offshore drilling,” said David Ritter, CEO of Greenpeace Australia Pacific.

“So many determined Australians worked incredibly hard to kick big oil companies out of our precious Bight, including coastal communities, Indigenous traditional owners, surfers, the seafood industry, tourism operators and other local businesses,”

“Never doubt the power and determination of the Australian people.”

BP, Chevron, and Norwegian oil giant Equinor have all abandoned their plans, and today’s announcement means only Bight Petroleum remains with intentions to drill for oil in the Bight, however its last plans were knocked back by the regulator earlier this year. 

“The only way to protect coastal communities and the Great Australian Bight’s unique marine life is to rule out drilling permanently.”

“The world’s climate cannot afford to open disastrous new oil frontiers, and fossil fuel companies like Santos have no place in Australia while they continue to trash our climate with extreme oil and gas projects.”

“Oil projects like this have no place in Australia’s waters, and Greenpeace will continue to fight to protect Australia’s wild whale sanctuary.”

“The Australian government should now impose a permanent moratorium on oil drilling in this precious marine wonderland.”

For more information please contact Head of Communications Nelli Stevenson on 0428 113 346 or email [email protected]