Second Esso/ExxonMobil gas rupture exposed


A second rupture from an offshore Esso/ExxonMobil rig has caused toxic gas condensate to spew into the ocean. 

The revelations come following questioning from Peter Whish-Wilson to the offshore energy regulator Nopsema at Senate Estimates. 

It is the second rupture at a Esso/ExxonMobil rig off the Victorian coast in just two months, in the same area Esso is planning risky carbon capture and storage.

Quotes attributable to Greens spokesperson for healthy oceans, Senator Peter Whish-Wilson:

“Esso/ExxonMobil is proving to be a problematic operator. Its ageing and leaking fossil fuel infrastructure in the Gippsland Basin is a concern for healthy oceans – and so are the laws and regulations that govern Australia’s offshore oil and gas industry which do little to protect our marine wildlife.

“Toxic substances that leak from rig infrastructure are currently self-reported by fossil fuel polluters, and our regulator has limited resources to audit, monitor or inspect this infrastructure. 

"Gas condensate spewing into the ocean can have potentially fatal consequences on marine wildlife. Gas condensate doesn’t form a distinct surface slick like crude oil, meaning it’s almost impossible to contain. Rather, it burns, evaporates and dissolves, with the component that dissolves into the water being acutely toxic and capable of causing catastrophic ecological harm.

“Esso's inability to manage its infrastructure safely is a huge red flag, especially given the company's plans for risky carbon capture and storage in the area.

“Fossil fuel corporations make millions from Australia’s offshore oil and gas fields and repeatedly get away with failing to clean up after themselves because our current regulatory framework provides insufficient environmental or economic oversight – how much more must our oceans and marine wildlife suffer before the Albanese government acts to change this?"