APRIL 22, 2010: Fire-fighting vessels try to extinguish the blaze on BP’s Deepwater Horizon oil drilling unit in the Gulf of Mexico.
APRIL 22, 2010: Fire-fighting vessels try to extinguish the blaze on BP’s Deepwater Horizon oil drilling unit in the Gulf of Mexico. US COAST Guardepa

BP says it welcomes scrutiny of drilling plans for Bight

A RENEWED bid by BP to drill for oil in the Great Australian Bight has been slammed by environmental groups.

Already knocked back once, the company has resubmitted an environmental plan to the National Offshore Petroleum Safety and Environmental Management Authority.

BP aims to drill in an area about 340km south-west of Ceduna.

While the company says it "expects and welcomes scrutiny by regulators and the community to make sure our work is safe and environmentally acceptable", activists point to its 2010 Deepwater Horizon disaster in the Gulf of Mexico.

The world's largest oil spill, it flowed for 87 days and had a catastrophic effect on marine life, fishing and tourism.

BP, which was found to have been grossly negligent, was ordered to pay damages of $24.6 billion.

Wilderness Society South Australia director Peter Owen said BP was out of step as the world turned its back on the "flailing fossil fuel industry".

"BP must not be allowed to risk the pristine marine wilderness of the Great Australian Bight whale nursery - our tourism, fishing and coastal communities," he told the ABC.



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