Bight drilling will help promote growth

Ceduna mayor Allan Suter's message.

Ceduna mayor Allan Suter's message.

As most people know, several companies are preparing to complete exploratory drilling for oil and gas in the Bight.

The council supports this process provided drilling is approved by NOPSEMA (National Offshore Petroleum Safety and Environmental Management). This organization is independent of government, consists of highly skilled experts and is very conscientious about ensuring no operations can happen unless every possible precaution is taken.

Before deciding to support this process the council engaged extensively with BP Exploration in particular and sought assurances we would not face the kind of disaster that happened in the Gulf of Mexico.

We were provided with answers to every question and were satisfied at the level of transparency. The number of actions BP developed and shared with other companies to ensure another disaster is avoided proved very reassuring.

Consultation is ongoing with two more visits in the next couple of months, which will incorporate a public information day and visits to other areas of Eyre Peninsula.

This is not the first time there will be drilling in the Bight with 12 wells explored in the past.

The track record of the various companies that have drilled for oil and gas in Australia, both onshore and offshore, shows a most impressive history.

The NOPSEMA process is very thorough and usually involves feedback to the company requesting certain stipulated aspects be further detailed.

This has already happened twice and further detail was provided.

This does not represent a refusal, despite claims of some interested parties but is a part of the normal steps taken.

All exploration for oil and gas is never certain of finding a viable deposit with only a small percentage being commercially viable.

Should this program prove successful the prospects for our community, the state and the country could be very exciting indeed.

The investment of $10 million at the Ceduna airport coupled with activity over coming months is a real bonus. Furthermore more than 95 per cent of expenditure on this project has been spent locally or on Eyre Peninsula.

If we want our town and area to have development and jobs we need to support progressive actions to promote growth.

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