Fellow Blogista Denis Bryant brought this press release from Australia’s Minister for Resources and Energy to MAC’s attention and makes the wry comment: “Except for the difference in water depth, the Montara incident bears many similarities to the Gulf of Mexico incident. History repeats itself so that we can make the same mistake more than once.”
The Australian Government hasreceived the findings of the Montara Commission of Inquiry into the uncontrolled oil and gas release from the Montara Wellhead Platform, which occurred from 21 August to 3 November 2009.
The report from Commissioner David Borthwick AO PSM has been provided to the Minister for Resources and Energy, Martin Ferguson AM MP. In handing over the report Commissioner Borthwick commended the Minister on his pre-emptive actions to amend the Offshore Petroleum and Greenhouse Gas Storage Act 2006 enabling the Commission to be set up to investigate and report on the incident.
The Inquiry focussed on the likely causes,the adequacy of the response and the effectiveness of the regulatory regime, including any changes that may be required to further strengthen existing arrangements.
“I will act promptly and appropriately on the report once I have had an opportunity to review its contents,” Ferguson says.
“Prior to releasing the report publicly I am bound to give consideration to advice from the Australian Government Solicitor to ensure that in the handling of this report I do nothing to prejudice the conduct of further investigations for possible offences including criminal offences, other civil or criminal action, or undermine any natural justice considerations.
“The Inquiry was not about attributing blame – it was, and continues to be, about understanding and learning the lessons from Montara.
“The Government has not been complacent during the period of the Inquiry. Under my instruction the relevant regulatory authorities are undertaking a range of reviews and safety checks.
“Industry has been very supportive of this process and has undertaken its own independent measures to improve safety in the wake of both Montara and the current incident in the Gulf of Mexico.
“I am focussed on making our oil and gas exploration and production operations the best and safest in the world.
“This report will play an important role in keeping our workers safe, protecting our environment and safeguarding our energy security.
“I thank the Commissioner and his team for their work, as I do all parties who contributed to the numerous submissions and the Public Hearings process.”