Important government announcement on decommissioning

Important government announcement on decommissioning

New recycling industry welcomed

Waste Management Review

Shannon Paten

March 31, 2023

Environmental organisation, Friends of the Earth has welcomed the announcement of a new industry to recycle offshore oil and gas platforms and other assets.

Jeff Waters, Friends of the Earth Australia Campaigner, said he was excited about the prospect of a sustainable solution for decommissioned oil rigs.

“There is the equivalent of 14 Sydney Harbour Bridges worth of steel out there that can be recycled, and you can recycle steel with renewable electricity rather than having to burn fossil fuels to manufacture it,” Waters said. “Not to mention the thousands of real, long-term jobs that could be created.”


In a statement on 29 March 2023, Madeleine King, Minister for Resources, outlined the formation of a new industry to recycle offshore oil and gas platforms and create a sustainable industry to service demand in Australia and the Asia-Pacific.

King said the decommissioning is a $60 billion opportunity for Australia.

“It is important we work together, with other stakeholders, to ensure decommissioning in offshore Australia is done well and done right,” she said.

According to Friends of the Earth, two industry-sponsored studies have shown that Australia faces a $60-$70 billion decommissioning clean-up bill for old offshore oil and gas facilities that need to be removed from the ocean.

Waters said that three recycling centres for decommissioned rigs and pipelines should be built in Western Australia, Victoria and the Northern Territory, with the northern facilities open to make income from breaking and recycling the thousands of Asian platforms that should also be decommissioned.

“We’re calling on the government to indefinitely extend the existing offshore decommissioning levy on industry so as to pay for establishing the recycling facilities,” Waters said.

“The industry should pay to clean up its own mess, and the levy is a drop in the ocean for this war-profiteering industry.”

Waters said the levy should also pay for a small number of heavy-lifting decommissioning ships that could augment the country’s civilian maritime fleet for disaster relief.


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  • Jeff Waters
    published this page in News 2023-04-04 16:09:03 +1000