The National Offshore Petroleum Safety and Environment Management Authority rejected oil and gas company BP's proposal to drill in the Great Australian Bight as the company did not adhere to the environmental standards. BP will have to rework on the proposal if it still wants to drill into the Great Australian Bight.

The company was required to submit a plan that would conform to the environment safety regulations, explaining how it would prevent an oil spill and also addressing community concerns regarding the possible environmental impact of drilling on the natural habitat of sea creatures. The environment regulator flagged the company’s proposal inadequate and provided it with another opportunity submit a modified approach towards environment safety.

"It doesn't appear that BP even completed an oil pollution emergency plan or a comprehensive risk assessment," the ABC quoted Peter Owen, the director of the Wilderness Society of South Australia, as saying. "BP should take this opportunity to drop its plan to drill in the Great Australian Bight especially after it released a statement last month saying it supported action on climate change."

He added that at this point, when the world is slipping towards deepening possibilities of a catastrophic climate change, it would be unwise to allow such a venture in the pristine waters. He also pointed out that the Great Australian Bight is home to different species of whales including the southern right whales to humpback, blue, sperm and beak whales.

Nick Xenophon, the South Australian independent Senator, said that the rejection of the company’s proposal indicates that the project bore a number of unacceptable risks to the environment.

The BP released a formal statement saying it would submit another modified proposal.

"Yes, we are going to work hard and take the time to demonstrate we have got our EP [environment plan] right," a BP spokesperson said. The oil and gas giant was looking forward to start drilling four exploration wells in the Great Australian Bight from 2016.

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