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BP Gulf Spill Fuels Australian Opponents to Drilling

BP Plc’s Gulf of Mexico disaster is generating opposition to deepwater drilling off Australia, where the government is opening new exploration areas less than a year after the country’s third-worst oil spill.

Resources Minister Martin Ferguson will receive the results tomorrow of an investigation into last August’s Timor Sea oil spill, he said in a phone interview. A month ago, he invited companies to bid for permits to explore new “frontiers” as Australia faces an import cost for oil and liquid fuels that may double in five years to A$30 billion ($26 billion). The country was self sufficient in oil as recently as 2000.