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Beach Energy: leaking mercury

23 November 2017

23 November 2017

In response to shareholder questioning at today’s Beach Energy AGM in Adelaide, the company’s board confirmed it would consider adopting the Task Force on Climate-related Financial Disclosures (TCFD) recommendations by the end of 2018, noting that much more work needed to be done.

Shareholders also asked if climate risk was classified as a material business risk. The board dodged the question, failing to give a concrete answer and not allowing the auditor to answer the question.

Beach Energy is Australia’s largest onshore oil producer, with an active exploration and development drilling program in the Cooper Basin, located in southwest Queensland and extending into north eastern South Australia.

Leaking mercury 

Mercury, a highly toxic substance, is present in both conventional and unconventional gas. Mercury has been found in the sludge at one of Beach Energy’s Katnook gas plant. Particularly concerning is the fact that the water was spread onto prime agricultural land without testing for over 300 contaminants that should have been included in the waste water analysis. A shareholder asked why the company was putting shareholders’ money at risk by taking part in petroleum activities that may put the South Eastern aquifers, air quality and export market at risk.

Company Chair Glenn Davis didn’t agree with the risks outlined by the shareholder and claimed that Beach Energy employs the worlds best practice. The shareholder then raised the fact that there had been a leaking exploration petroleum well put down by a petroleum company in the SE in 1973 and as far as the shareholder was aware was never decommissioned and leaking water. The shareholder asked if this is what Beach Energy meant by world’s best practice.

Take action 

Commonwealth Bank, ANZ and NAB all loaned hundreds of millions to Beach Energy since 2008. Click here to tell your bank if they continue to fund dirty fossil fuel companies, you will choose another bank.