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Kimberley coast threat from new LNG proposal following Origin exit

[supplied by Martin Pritchard]


Rally to protect the Kimberley from Woodside’s LNG proposal in 2013 at Fremantle.

Image: Adam Monk

Buru Energy's plans to develop a new fossil gas project in the Kimberley harks back to the bad old days of Woodside and Colin Barnett's James Price Point Proposal.

Environs Kimberley has welcomed Origin Energy’s departure from a Kimberley oil and gas joint venture with Buru Energy but a serious new threat has emerged.

Buru Energy says Origin’s departure will allow it to progress the development of a gas and condensate find, ‘Rafael’, near the National Heritage listed Martuwarra Fitzroy River. The proposal includes a pipeline across the intact tropical savanna of the Kimberley to a floating gas plant off the pristine coast.

“This new methane gas project has the potential to be extremely damaging to the Kimberley and to propose a gas plant off the coast harks back to the bad old days of Woodside’s and Colin Barnett’s James Price Point proposal,” said Environs Kimberley spokesperson Martin Pritchard.

“Like James Price Point, this latest proposal is totally unacceptable. The McGowan government must show its commitment to protecting the region is real and tell Buru this sort of development will not be permitted in the Kimberley.

“The age of climate-destroying methane gas extraction is over if we want to have a safe planet. To propose a project like this in the Kimberley is outrageous. Buru Energy was forced to suspend its oil operations due to the recent floods - this shows how the industry is incompatible with the Kimberley region and its climate.”

Origin’s exit from the Kimberley, announced last year but only made official today, follows a long line of fossil fuel companies including Mitsubishi, ConocoPhillips, PetroChina, Alcoa and Twiggy Forrest’s Squadron Energy that exited the region after wasting millions of dollars of their shareholders money.

Lock the Gate spokesperson Simone van Hattem said, "Origin is clearly eager to rid itself of its Kimberley fossil gas interests at a time when the world is swiftly transitioning to renewable energy. Buru Energy has already cleared tens of thousands of kilometres of tropical savannah vegetation in the Kimberley just so it could survey for gas. The McGowan Government needs to step in to stop this madness before Buru can inflict any more destruction on the precious Kimberley."

“The Rafael project would involve damaging seismic testing and associated land clearing near the National Heritage listed Martuwarra Fitzroy River.

“If built, this project would industrialise the Kimberley landscape beyond recognition. Well pads, tracks, pumping stations, and a pipeline network would turn the spectacular landscapes of the region into something that looks like the fracking fields of Texas.

“It’s time for Buru Energy to focus on renewables instead of industrialising the Kimberley with methane gas fields.”


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