OIL GIANT BP refused to disclose any information on a controversial drilling project in the Great Australian Bight to its shareholders ahead of its annual general meeting today.
Ethical investors fear BP’s silence could mean a high-risk and high-cost gamble in an area of exceptional marine significance.
The drilling project is of particular importance to shareholders as this month marks the sixth anniversary of BP’s Deepwater Horizon oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico.
Investor group ShareAction chief executive Catherine Howarth said: “By pressing ahead with exploration in the Great Australian Bight, the company appears tone deaf to the shift in investor sentiment on climate risk following the Paris agreement.
“Investors in BP overwhelmingly voted last year in favour of smarter environmental risk management within its corporate strategy.
“These plans to drill for oil in the bight raise a big red flag for investors who are already demanding answers about how BP can justify the project.”
BP’s environmental plan for the bight was rejected by Australia’s offshore drilling watchdog.
Yet the company continues to refuse shareholders’ and environmental campaigners’ requests to see the plan and to know the reasons for its rejection.
It has also failed to disclose the exact drilling locations.
Despite the Star’s requests for comment, BP remained tight-lipped.