International oilfield services company Schlumberger are teaming up with TGS, providers of energy data, to propose 3D seismic blasting over a 7.7 million hectare area in the Southern Ocean. If approved, this will be the largest seismic exploration project the world has ever known. Seismic blasting is an extremely damaging exploration method used to uncover new gas and oil reserves in offshore areas.
Seismic blasting has been shown to disrupt whales’ navigation, communication and ability to feed. We know that in extreme cases it can cause permanent deafness in whales, dolphins and other marine species. We know that it kills zooplankton and baby crayfish. However the full range of impacts of releasing 250 decibel blasts of noise every 10 seconds into the ocean is little understood.
As more people take practical steps to switch off gas and shift to renewables it is reasonable to imagine that by the time any gasfields have been identified, production licences applied for, assessed and potentially approved then the gas extracted will no longer be economically viable. All of that unacceptable damage to marine ecosystems will have been for nothing.
Even in the unlikely event of the economic case for gas being strong enough to warrant production, our climate simply cannot afford a single new gas well to be opened up now, let alone in several years’ time.
Will you email the state and federal environment and resources ministers to ask them to refuse this project a licence to proceed?
Projects of this kind often happen out of sight and out of mind of the general public. We have to let the decision makers in government and their agencies know that we are watching and do not want further pollution of the ocean, whether the noise pollution of seismic blasting or chemical pollution from gas wells. To do that we need total transparency about the nature and details of the project and comprehensive community engagement to ensure that every voice is heard and considered.
More than this, we need to tell the Ministers responsible that we reject a single new project that could place our teetering climate in further peril.
Please email the ministers now.
This action is taken in solidarity with the Traditional Owners of the Gunditjmara nation in line with their Citizens’ Protection Declaration pushing back against seismic testing and oil and gas incursions into critical whale habitat.