Subject: Phillips Under Fire fr. Environmental Groups

Asia Pulse

July 4, 2003 Friday


DARWIN, July 4

The developer of the biggest private investment project in the history of Australia's Northern Territory has been criticised for clearing more land than allowed.

US-based oil giant ConocoPhillips last month began work on a A $1.5 billion (US$1 billion), three million-tonne per year Liquefied Natural Gas plant in Darwin.

ConocoPhillips will build a pipeline from its Bayu-Undan gas field, about 500km northwest of Darwin in the Timor Sea, to the Darwin facility to supply Japanese customers with LNG for 17 years from 2006.

The project was expected to substantially boost the territory economy, but had been criticised by some environmental lobbyists.

The Northern Territory government today said it was concerned a small 120m by five metre patch of land had been mistakenly cleared.

"I was extremely disappointed to learn of this incident, particularly as it has occurred so soon after clearing activities commenced at the site, and despite the extensive planning that has been put in place," NT Environment Minister Chris Burns said.

"I have conveyed my concern to ConocoPhillips in the strongest of terms."

investigation, and would immediately move to revegetate the area, Dr Burns said.


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