On Tuesday, Norwegian oil company Equinor (which markets itself as a clean energy company back home in Norway) submitted their environment draft plan for a deep-sea drilling operation in the Great Australian Bight–and Australian surfers are committed to making them wish they hadn’t.
About 230 miles off the coast of South Australia, Equinor aims to start drilling at a depth of roughly 1.5 miles below the ocean’s surface, in one of the most storm-torn stretches of water on earth, home to countless whales, dolphins and other marine life.
According to Equinor’s own modeling (pictured above), a worst-case spill would see oil reaching further north than Sydney on Australia’s east coast and nearly to Margaret River on the west coast, with the entirety of the southern coast and Tasmania being affected–basically most of the Australian continent’s surfable coastline could be impacted.
Of course, Equinor’s environment draft plan asserts that the drilling operation could be done safely (shocking), but environmental advocacy groups are having exactly none of that, with Greenpeace and other organizations condemning the plan for downplaying the risks of drilling there (fun fact: in recent years, both BP and Chevron abandoned drilling plans of their own for the Bight after it was deemed too expensive to do so in compliance with environmental regulations.)
Understandably, the Australian surf community is in total uproar over the plan, and the country’s surfing elite have begun an all-out siege on Equinor’s Instagram account. Here are some highlights from the comment section on Equinor’s most recent post:
Joel Parkinson: “Stay away from Australia [Australian flag and middle finger emojis]”
Craig Anderson: “@equinor stay away from the Great Australian Bight and leave our pristine oceans alone. Put your oil and gas greed elsewhere and into sustainable energy…cowards”
Sean Doherty: “We don’t want you drilling in Australia. The people of Norway are discovering what you’re doing and they’re not happy.”
Russell Bierke: “Don’t drill the Bight!! Plenty of sun, wind and wave energy you can use here instead…”
Chippa Wilson: “You are NOT welcome here / burn the plans and evolve to renewables / thank you @equinor”
Dion Agius: “Stay out of the Ausralian Bight. We will do our best to make sure your fellow Norwegians know all about your disgusting plans.”
Shaun Manners: “[Expletive]”
If you’d like to give your thoughts on the plan to the National Offshore Petroleum Safety and Environmental Management Authority, which regulates drilling in Australia, click here to leave a comment. And also please feel free to tell Equinor your thoughts directly on their most recent Instagram post: