Australian energy company Woodside is facing a legal challenge from the Australian Conservation Foundation (AFC) which is seeking an injunction to restrain Scarborough gas project activities.
Woodside has been notified that the ACF has begun proceedings in the Federal Court of Australia concerning the environmental assessment of the Scarborough Project. According to the Australian company, the ACF is seeking an injunction to restrain offshore project activities.
The Scarborough field is in the Carnarvon Basin 233 miles off the coast of Western Australia and is estimated to contain 11.1 trillion cubic feet of dry gas. The project was sanctioned in November 2021.
The development of the Scarborough field comprises 13 subsea wells, a semi-submersible floating production unit, and a subsea export pipeline to Pluto LNG. Field development will be completed in two phases with eight wells drilled in Phase 1. The upstream production facilities will be installed to supply 8 Mtpa LNG and 180 TJ/day of domestic gas.
The semi-submersible floating production unit will be built and delivered by McDermott and the first LNG cargo from the project is set for 2026.
The Scarborough Project has been the subject of rigorous environmental assessments by a range of regulators including the National Offshore Petroleum Safety and Environmental Management Authority, the Commonwealth Department of Agriculture, Water, and the Environment as well as from the Western Australian Environmental Protection Authority, Woodside explained.
“The Scarborough Project is underway and proceeding to schedule after receiving all primary environmental approvals,” Woodside CEO Meg O’Neill said.
“The project will deliver significant local and national benefits in the form of employment, tax revenue, and reliable gas supply in the energy transition for decades to come. Woodside will vigorously defend its position in these proceedings”, she added.
The ACF does not see it that way and made a statement regarding the Scarborough project on its social media channels earlier this month.
“This is absolutely not the time to be approving new gas or coal projects – it is completely at odds with effective climate action.
“Woodside’s Scarborough gas project is a massive carbon bomb that would add to damage climate change is doing to our reefs – it should not proceed,” ACF said on Twitter.
This news regarding legal action against Scarborough comes only days after Australia joined the ‘coal-free’ club and decided to invest $3.8 billion in new green power infrastructure. The country’s government also decided to increase Australia’s national 2030 emission reduction target from 26-28 percent to 43 percent just last week.
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