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Background


 

The Great Australian Bight Research Program is administered by a Management Committee and advised by an Independent Science Panel comprising internationally recognised experts in key discipline areas. Project Leaders and BP's Subject Matter Experts reguarly exchange information about their relevant discipline areas.

BP is investing $1.43B and drilling up to four exploratory wells in the hope of discovering a new deep-water oil and gas province in the Great Australian Bight.

The Great Australian Bight is one of Australia's most valuable marine ecosystems. It supports globally significant populations of seabirds and marine mammals, diverse and endemic benthic assemblages and important fishing, aquaculture and ecotourism industries.

Two research agencies (CSIRO and the South Australian Research and Development Institute, SARDI) and two universities (University of Adelaide and Flinders University) entered into a collaborative research partnership with BP to undertake an integrated study of the ecological processes and socio-economic importance of the Great Australian Bight. Uniquely, this four year $20M Great Australian Bight Research Program is being undertaken during the exploration phase and conducted as a single integrated program.

The program is one of a few whole of system studies ever undertaken in Australia and is the first large-scale, integrated study of the ecosystems, resources and socio-economic values of the Great Australian Bight.

The Research Program is comprised of sixteen inter-related projects covering seven research themes: physical oceanography, open water (pelagic) research; sea floor (benthic) biodiversity; apex predators; petroleum systems; socio-economic analysis; and integration and modelling.

Scientific quality assurance is provided by a review process that involves an Independent Science Panel comprising internationally recognised experts in key discipline areas.

The program benefits from over 100 of Australia's scientists and technical staff that are leaders in their field, as well as input from BP's international Subject Matter Experts. A number of post-graduate PhD students will also be involved in the research program.

Ecological data collected during the study will be publicly available. Findings will be presented to stakeholders and regulators and published in technical reports and scientific papers throughout the course of the program. This will be vital information for all users of the Bight because it will provide a solid basis on which to measure possible human impacts and help industry and government plan for future activities.

Conference paper: Integrated approach to ecological and socio-economic research to support the oil and gas industry: the Great Australian Bight Collaborative Research Science Program (PDF 420KB) 

 

 


 

The Great Australian Bight Research Program is a collaboration between BP, CSIRO, the South Australian Research and Development Institute (SARDI), the University of Adelaide, and Flinders University.