Kimberley Oil Spill Much Bigger, Federal Government Inquiry Reveals

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22nd October 2009, 03:05pm - Views: 622

Media Alert

22 October, 2009

Kimberley oil spill much bigger, federal government inquiry reveals

It has been revealed overnight that Australia’s third worst oil spill is likely to be

much bigger than previously estimated by the company responsible for the

spill off the Kimberley coast.

Presenting evidence at an estimates hearing at Federal Parliament last night,

officials from the Federal Department of Resources, Energy and Tourism

officials said that the company behind the oil spill, PTTEP, had provided no

rationale for its calculation of 400 barrels-of-oil-day coming from the spill site.

Officials then confirmed the department had done its own calculations based

on Geoscience Australia data and found the spill was likely to be much higher

at around 2000 barrels a day plus condensate.

“The oil spill has fluctuated since it began but the revelations overnight

indicate that the amount of oil polluting the sea off the Kimberley coast is likely

to be almost 3 times more than what was previously thought,” John Carey

from the Pew Environment Group said.

“The amount of oil spilling from the site off the Kimberley coast is now likely to

be close to 10 million litres, which is alarming for not just the size of the spill

but the potential impact on marine life.

“Halting this spill is the first priority, the second priority is to make sure that

there are safeguards put in place to protect the marine environment from

future spills and create large sanctuary areas as a safe haven for marine life.”

Media enquiries: John Carey, Pew Environment Group, 0400 450 399

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