Media release

ACCR appeals Woodside’s carbon bomb

The Australian Centre for Corporate Responsibility (ACCR) has appealed the WA Environmental Protection Authority’s (EPA) Report 1727 which recommends approval of the North West Shelf (NWS) Extension, which extends the life of the Karratha Gas Plant to 2070.

ACCR has a number of material concerns with the Proposal including:

  • the immense scale of carbon pollution that will be generated from this project (scope 1 and 3 emissions);
  • that Woodside may have provided false or misleading information to the EPA; and
  • withheld information that is relevant to the unmitigated environmental impacts and options to reduce these impacts.

Commenting on the EPA Report and NWS Extension, Alex Hillman, Lead Carbon Analyst at the Australasian Centre for Corporate Responsibility (ACCR), said:

“In the face of escalating climate threats, the WA EPA has buried its head in the sand and recommended that Woodside be licensed to unlock this carbon bomb out to 2070.

“This proposal beggars belief.

“The extension of the North West Shelf at full capacity to 2070 would facilitate the release of 3.8 billion tonnes of CO2 and pave the way for the opening of new gas basins, such as the Browse project and the Canning Basin.

“This proposal demonstrates that Woodside has no genuine intention of transitioning away from fossil fuels, even though half of its investors have voted in favour of the company setting scope 3 emission targets.

“The proposal, prepared by Woodside, includes potentially false and misleading information about its scope 1 GHG emissions and appears to have withheld information on viable options to reduce them.

“As such, the EPA’s recommendations are misinformed and overly generous. The ability for the NWS to meet these concerning targets using carbon offsets is scientifically flawed and at odds with WA’s Policy.

“The NWS emits 60% of Australia’s carcinogenic benzene emissions to air. The EPA has however accepted the NWS’s position that this does not pose a health risk, so has not recommended any requirement to reduce these emissions.

“The Karratha Gas Plant is Australia’s oldest and largest liquefied natural gas facility. It was an inefficient design even when commissioned in 1984 and yet this proposal would see it operating as is for 50 years.

“If the Federal and State Environment Ministers are tempted to approve this proposal on the basis of perceived economic benefits, they should consider that the North West Shelf joint venture participants, many of them being international oil and gas companies, have frequently over-stated the economic benefits they are delivering to Australians.”


ACCR’s summary and recommendations are available here. For a PDF of our full submission, please contact ACCR.

The NWS Proposal is available here.

The EPA’s Report is available here.

The KGP production capacity is 18.5 million tonnes per annum of LNG, which is equivalent to 80.19 million tonnes of scope 3 greenhouse gases a year.

Total emissions from the Proposal beyond 2030 (MtCO2-e pa)

(Australian emissions assumes straight line from the current 2030 target to net zero in 2050)

NWS’ ‘estimated’ scope 1 emissions overstated by ~1 MtCO2-e pa

Scope 1 emissions limits and NWS production (% of production capacity and ‘estimated’ emissions)

BTEX Emissions (FY21 National Pollutant Inventory)

PollutantKGP emissions (kg)KGP emissions (% of Australian total)

NOx Emissions, including EPA recommended target (FY21 National Pollutant Inventory)

(kg of NOx)
KGP with 40% reduction
(kg of NOx)
Woodside operated Pluto1,088,2601,088,260
Other Burrup960,405960,405
% from KGP79%70%

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