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Equinor in Australia

We have been present in Australia since 2012, and currently hold two exploration permits in the Great Australian Bight off the coast of South Australia, and one exploration permit in the North West Shelf, off the coast of Western Australia. 

Read about our Great Australian Bight project here:

Our commitment and credentials

Equinor is a Norwegian-based international energy company with a strong commitment to safety and care for the environment. Safety and sustainability are at the heart of everything we do. 

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At Equinor, safety is our top priority. We support the Paris Climate Accord, and we are guided by United Nation’s Sustainable Development Goals. Here we explain our background, our approach and our commitment to responsible operations here in Australia.

We recognise there is a range of views on the subject of oil and gas exploration in Australia. Everyone wants assurances that exploration can be done safely, and many are also interested in the potential economic benefits that activity can bring to nearby regions, just like those enjoyed by Victorians for decades from the Bass Strait fields. For more than 40 years we have drilled safely on the Norwegian Continental Shelf and around the world. We will bring the same care and expertise to our operations in Australia.

We will only carry out our planned operations if we can do them safely and with the approval of the National Offshore Petroleum Safety and Environmental Management Authority (NOPSEMA), which is Australia’s independent regulator for offshore drilling. We will take the time necessary to ensure our operations are safe for people, communities and the environment.

We are the world’s most CO2-efficient producer of oil and gas and are working to reduce our emissions still further. We have an excellent track record on safety, and it is always our first priority.

In our Energy Perspectives report, we encourage politicians, consumers and our entire industry to take action to reduce CO2 emissions to reach the climate targets set in the Paris Agreement. We state that the transition to a more sustainable energy system is taking place too slowly.

We are doing our part by investing strongly in renewable energy such as wind and solar, as well as carbon capture and storage (CCS).

Wherever we work, we have emergency preparedness on standby, we carry out stringent risk assessments of our operations, we integrate environmental and social risk management into our planning, and we adhere to the strictest standards for emissions to air and ecosystems.

We have extensive offshore experience from some of the harshest environments on the planet, such as the Norwegian Sea, and offshore Newfoundland, and we apply this knowledge wherever we operate in the world. 

We only conduct operations if they can be done safely.

How to contact Equinor in Australia

Facts about our permits in Australia

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Our permits in Australia

The Great Australian Bight

We became operator and 100% owner of exploration permits EPP39 and EPP40 in June 2017. The permits cover approximately 12,000 square kilometres. 

Since 2011, the Australian Government has awarded 11 exploration permits in the Ceduna sub-basin. Each permit has minimum work requirements (e.g. seismic surveys and drilling) that operators must complete to comply with the permit conditions. Equinor is the operator of two of these permits. We are planning to drill one exploration well called Stromlo-1, which is in line with the conditions of the permit as determined by the Australian and South Australian governments. 

The Stromlo-1 well will be 372 km south of the coast and 476 km west of Port Lincoln. The map below shows the proposed location of the Stromlo-1 well and all the existing wells in the region.

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Stromlo-1

The North West Shelf

In September 2019, Equinor was offered exploration permit WA-542-P for an initial period of six years. Equinor accepted the permit in October 2019. The permit covers approximately 4,800 square kilometres.

Permit WA-542-P was awarded to Equinor by the National Offshore Petroleum Titles Administration (NOPTA) for a six-year term, with a work program consisting of geological and geophysical studies, reprocessing of seismic data and new 3D seismic acquisition.

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Permit WA-542-P

The first step: environmental planning

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Photo: Getty Images

Australian law requires that before any offshore petroleum activity occurs, the operator must have an environment plan approved by the National Offshore Petroleum Safety and Environmental Management Authority (NOPSEMA). 

Environment plans are comprehensive documents that detail the measures in place to avoid, mitigate and manage impacts to the environment. An environment plan will be accepted only if Equinor can demonstrate that the environmental risks and impacts have been reduced to a level that is ‘as low as reasonably practicable’ (ALARP) and acceptable. 

We have spent two years preparing the Environment Plan for Stromlo-1 Exploration Drilling, including co-funding the most extensive baseline survey of the deep-water environments and met-ocean conditions of the Great Australian Bight ever carried out.