Australian Regulator Asks BP for Second Revision to Drill Plan

  • BP plans A$1 billion drilling program off southern Australia
  • Company was first asked to revise its proposal in November

BP Plc will need to revise and resubmit its plan to explore for oil in an untapped frontier off the coast of southern Australia, the second time regulators have asked the producer to modify the proposal.

“If BP accepts this opportunity, the modified plan is expected to be resubmitted by 15 July,” the National Offshore Petroleum Safety and Environmental Management Authority said on its website Monday.

BP is planning a drilling program that will cost more than A$1 billion ($730 million) in the Great Australian Bight, a remote region the company has described as “pretty much the last big unexplored basin in the whole world.” BP has faced opposition from environmental groups worried about the potential for an accident.

The regulator in November turned back BP’s proposal, saying that the London-based energy producer’s plan didn’t “yet meet the criteria for acceptance under the environment regulations.”

BP plans to start drilling in the Bight in the Australian summer of 2016-2017, it said in March when it resubmitted its environment plan to the offshore regulator.

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