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‘Montara well leak shouldn’t have happened’: APPEA

The Australian Petroleum Production and Exploration Association (APPEA) has announced its support of the Government’s inquiry into the Montara well leak, introduced into parliament this week by the minister for resources and energy, Martin Ferguson.

The inquiry is designed to assess the events that led to the Montara incident, and to identify any measures that may be required to minimise the risk of such an incident occurring again.

According to APPEA, the Australian petroleum industry “places great importance on ensuring that [events like this] do not happen,” and notes the incident as the first of its in Australia in over 25 years.

“The response to the incident was a textbook implementation of the emergency management plans that are in place if an incident does occur,” said a notice from APPEA.

“The Federal Government and the relevant authorities responsible for the management and containment of this incident including the Australian Maritime Safety Authority (AMSA), the National Offshore Petroleum Safety Authority (NOPSA), Northern Territory Government agencies and the responsible company are to be commended for their swift and expert response.

“The industry and the company are working closely with AMSA, who have operational control of managing the incident, to ensure that it has all the resources necessary.”

APPEA also says that the safety of personnel has been “the number one consideration” of the company and relevant authorities in managing this incident.

The plan to stop the well leak has been developed by the industry technical experts in consultation with the relevant government authorities.

“This is a difficult operation that has involved the consideration of a range of possible options that have been fully assessed against the technical requirements,” said APPEA.

“The experts have determined that the option being implemented is the one most likely to contain the well leak safely and effectively.

“Comments by individuals or groups that are inaccurate, alarmist or misleading about the safety, environment or technical consideration of successfully managing and containing the well leak show no respect to the hard work of the dedicated experts managing this incident. This hard work has ensured that no injuries have occurred and minimised the environmental effects.”

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