We have collaborated with Woodside Energy since 1993 and continue to work with the company on a variety of projects.
One of our most recent projects involved a five-year baseline environmental study of the spectacular and remote Scott Reef, 300 kilometres off the Western Australian coast.
It is our largest baseline study for the oil and gas industry to date, and the study was a key source document for the environmental impact statement and subsequent environmental approvals for the Browse Joint Venture.
Woodside had discovered the Torosa gas field beneath Scott Reef in 1971 and supported a number of scientific expeditions to the atoll. In 1993 we combined forces with Woodside to establish a long-term monitoring program of Scott Reef.
Working with Woodside offered us a unique opportunity to study this normally inaccessible atoll. As a result of this project, we discovered:
- how corals and fish depend on each other for survival
- how corals and their symbiotic algae can adapt to extreme changes in depth
- the effect of water movements on the flow of nutrients and larvae
- the importance of the reef to migratory turtles and whales.
The project produced an exceptional baseline for future environmental assessments, which the Australian Petroleum Production and Exploration Association recognised in 2011 with an Environmental Award.
Our Scott Reef work also showed how a partnership between industry and the scientific community could lead to outcomes that benefit sustainable development, conservation and Australia as a whole.
- The book Discovering Scott Reef presents an account of the research effort at Scott Reef