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Energy, Environment


Friends of the Earth Australia 2 mins read
The Legendre field

Governments have known about it but have done nothing to fix the problem

Santos says it is “impossible” to stop


Santos has admitted that its retired Legendre oil and gas field off the Pilbara coast has been leaking gas for a decade, and governments have done nothing to fix the problem.

According to a report by Peter Milne for the Nine newspapers today, methane gas is leaking from 26 locations in the field. Methane is more than 80 times worse for global warming than carbon dioxide.

“The question today for the Climate Change Minister, Chris Bowen, is how many of his carbon-cutting initiatives are being cancelled out by these rogue methane emissions,” said Friends of the Earth Offshore Fossil Gas Campaigner Jeff Waters.

“This methane isn’t being counted in our national greenhouse accounts, even though governments have known about it for years. This is a coverup and an outrage,” he said.

“And this likely to be just one example of many.”

“We have no idea how many of the 90 or so other retired gas fields are also leaking, because nobody is monitoring them.”

Jeff Waters said immediate steps needed to be taken to stop the leaking.

“If Santos can’t clean up this mess then engineers from Europe, where world’s best practice in well decommissioning takes place, should be brought in to solve the problem, and Santos should pay for it.”

“The Federal Government should indefinitely extend, and increase, the temporary decommissioning levy that the industry is now paying so that all abandoned wells can be properly sealed.”

Anybody who wants industry to pay for the clean up of legacy offshore oil and methane gas assets should tell the government by signing our petition, which can be found here.


Jeff Waters is available for comment today from Melbourne.





Key Facts:

- Methane leaking from 26 locations off WA

- Leaks were first detected 10 years ago

- Nothing has been done to stop the leaks

- Nobody knows if 90 more wells are leaking

Contact details:

Jeff Waters, Friends of the Earth Australia Offshore Fossil Gas Campaigner

0498 111 261


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