UPDATE 2-BP scraps plan to drill off Australia's south coast


By Sonali Paul and Karolin Schaps
| MELBOURNE/LONDON

MELBOURNE/LONDON Oil major BP has scrapped plans to drill for oil and gas off the southern coast of Australia because it is too expensive in the face of low oil prices that have prompted heavy cost-cutting across the sector.

The Great Australian Bight project has been condemned by environmental groups who say it would damage whale and sea lion breeding grounds, but BP’s withdrawal can only be viewed as a partial victory for campaigners because the company and a number of others still hold exploration permits for the area.

BP said the project, in which it is partnered by Norway’s Statoil, would not be able to compete for capital investment with other opportunities in its global portfolio for the foreseeable future.

“This decision isn’t a result of a change in our view of the prospectivity of the region, nor…



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