Blocking a Carbon Bomb: Tiwi Islanders prevent $4.7 billion Barossa offshore gas project in Australia

(Oil Change International, Washington, 14 December 2022) In a landmark decision in September, the Federal Court of Australia ruled that Santos Ltd, one of the world’s top 20 largest oil and gas companies, would not be allowed to drill in the Barossa gas fields off the coast of northern Australia. The Court ruled that Santos had failed to consult Tiwi Traditional Owners. Santos appealed the decision, but this was in vain. Two weeks ago, the appeal was rejected, further solidifying legal victory for the Tiwi Islander Plaintiffs. The Barossa project alone included over $1 billion USD in public finance support from the Japanese and Korean governments’ export credit agencies (ECAs), Japan Bank for International Cooperation (JBIC), Export-Import Bank of Korea (KEXIM) and Korea Trade Insurance Corporation (K-Sure). Santos and the Australian Government assured these ECAs that the project approvals were solid, even after Tiwi Island people had warned them about lack of free, prior and informed consent, and despite the fact that extraction from these wells would be completely at odds with Australia’s climate obligations.