PTTEP not ready to take on new leases – Greens

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The Australian Greens said today the Federal Minister for the Environment should reject a request from PTTEP Australasia to begin two new drilling projects off Australia's northern coast.

Senator Rachel Siewert, Australian Greens Marine spokesperson says there are still strong doubts about PTTEP's ability to operate safely in Australian waters in the wake of the Montara oil spill.

“The Federal Government has instigated an 18 month compliance monitoring program to assess PTTEP’s ability to implement their action plan, developed as a response to the Montara disaster,” Senator Siewert said today.

“Regardless of the spin being used by PTTEP, there is no hiding the fact that the Montara Commission of Inquiry made damning findings against them over the Montara oil spill.

“The independent review of PTTEP's action plan concluded that until it is fully implemented, questions remain about the company's ability to meet the standards of safety and good governance required to operate in Australian waters.

“The report was very clear that significant changes were required to PTTEP’s operations and procedures to bring it in line with industry best practice standards for both good oil field practice and good governance, and that it would take 18 months for these changes to be implemented and proven effective.

“Under those circumstances I do not believe it is acceptable for new projects to be undertaken until we are sure that the appropriate standards of safety and compliance are being met.

“This company must prove that it can properly and safely manage its existing operations before being allowed to undertake new drilling projects,” concluded Senator Siewert.