Analytical Instrumentation

Who Pays for Oil Spill Clean Ups?

Mar 15 2017 Read 1112 Times

From polluting water sources to coating seabirds in an oily slick, crude spills wreak havoc on the natural environment. And it’s no secret that the clean-up process is enormous, and expensive. But who pays for it? While technically the company responsible should be forking out, the latest plans from the Australian treasury would see taxpayers pay for oil spill clean-ups under a new petroleum resource rent tax (PRRT).

Just days ago, the treasury confirmed that companies would be offered the option of claiming tax deductions for expenses racked up during oil spill clean-ups. It’s all thanks to the PRRT regime, which would essentially make oil spill clean-ups in the Great Australian Bight tax deductible. Benefits would be calculated using different “uplift rates” which would vary depending on whether spills were caused by exploration or production activity.   

PRRT scheme slammed

Unsurprisingly, the scheme has been slammed by Australian tax payers and environmentalists alike. Tax payers maintain that it’s not their responsibility to clean up after ‘dirty’ oil and gas companies, while environmentalists warn that the scheme could encourage negligence and irresponsibility.

When questioned by Greens senator Peter Whish-Wilson, treasury officials confirmed that clean-up costs for exploration oil spills would be eligible for tax deductions under the PRRT regime. They’d fall into the “exploration expenditure” category, and could be held over and “uplifted” at a 17.5% annual rate.

Greens warn companies could profit from spills

With Chevron on-track to drill four exploration wells in the area, spills in the Great Australian Bight are imminent. And if the PRRT scheme goes ahead, tax payers could be forced to subsidise clean-ups. Whish-Wilson was quick to label Australia’s fossil fuel subsidies as “obscene,” maintaining that “the rules are written so if a company created an oil spill with their exploration rig, they could make a profit from it.”

Tax Justice Network representative Jason Ward also labelled the scheme an “absolute scandal,” saying “First we learn that we are giving away our natural resources to the world’s largest oil companies for free and now we know they can get tax credits for oil spills. It is mind-boggling that this is actually how the PRRT works.”

For a closer look at the intricacies of environmental safety within the oil and gas industry, ‘Ecological and economical measurement of oil-in-water without compromising accuracy’ offers expert commentary on the latest technology that combines all benefits of IR spectroscopy with cyclohexane, a safe, CFC-free solvent.

Read comments0

Do you like or dislike what you have read? Why not post a comment to tell others / the manufacturer and our Editor what you think. To leave comments please complete the form below. Providing the content is approved, your comment will be on screen in less than 24 hours. Leaving comments on product information and articles can assist with future editorial and article content. Post questions, thoughts or simply whether you like the content.

Digital Edition

Petro Industry News April / May 2018

May 2018

In This Edition Fuel for Thought - Restek Recognised for Outstanding Retirement Benefi - Blackline Safety Named Manufacturer of the Year - 7th International Conference on Polyolefin Charact...

View all digital editions


ASTM - D02 Meeting

Jun 24 2018 Phoenix, AZ, USA


Jun 25 2018 Washington DC, USA

Sensor + Test 2018

Jun 26 2018 Nuremberg, Germany

Fugitive Emissions Summit Americas 2018

Jun 26 2018 Houston, Tx, USA


Jun 27 2018 Surabaya, Indonesia

View all events