Equinor plan needs to be resubmitted

THE National Offshore Petroleum Safety and Environmental Management Authority (NOPSEMA) has again called for Equinor to modify and resubmit its environment plan for proposed drilling in the Great Australian Bight.

A notice issued to Equinor on Friday last week called for further information relating to consultation, source control, and oil spill risk as well as matters protected under Part 3 of the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999.

"The opportunity to modify and resubmit does not represent a refusal or rejection of the environment plan," NOPSEMA said.

"This is a normal part of NOPSEMA's environment plan assessment process."

NOPSEMA is required by law to provide titleholders a reasonable opportunity to modify and resubmit their plan if it does not meet the regulatory requirements for acceptance.

New research from Greenpeace Australia showing Equinor's safety incident rate has doubled over the past year was released just before NOPSEMA asked for the plan to be resubmitted.

According to Greenpeace, the increase comes off the back of a marked increase in the rate of safety problems at its facilities across a three-year period, registering a total of 63 incidents including fires, an oil spill and equipment failures.

Equinor's country manager for Australia Jone Stangeland said the company believed any oil spill was unacceptable and it worked hard to plan for safe operations and to prevent all accidents.

Equinor has 21 days to respond to NOPSEMA's request to modify and resubmit its environment plan.