Greenpeace goes after Stuart oil shale project backers

The Australian Stock Exchange (ASX) has rejected a claim by environmental activist organization Greenpeace that Southern Pacific Petroleum NL and Central Pacific Minerals NL�Australian-listed coventurers in the development of the Stuart oil shale deposit in Queensland�may have breached ASX listing rules in their disclosure concerning the anticipated impact of greenhouse gas emissions from the project.


MELBOURNE�The Australian Stock Exchange (ASX) has rejected a claim by environmental activist organization Greenpeace that Southern Pacific Petroleum NL and Central Pacific Minerals NL�Australian-listed coventurers in the development of the Stuart oil shale deposit in Queensland�may have breached ASX listing rules in their disclosure concerning the anticipated impact of greenhouse gas emissions from the project.

Greenpeace alleged that the joint venture had failed to take account of the costs related to the emissions. Greenpeace estimates those costs at $442 million (Aus.)/year, equal to 42% of the projected annual revenue from the project over a 30-year life.

The two companies own a little under 50% of the $250 million (Aus.) Stage 1 pilot plant. Canada's Suncor Energy Management owns the remainder (OGJ Online, June 5, 2000).

Greenpeace's allegation charges the Australian partners with failing to inform investors of the risks associated with greenhouse gas emissions. But ASX has said it has no reason to believe that the companies were not complying with the listing rules that require them to disclose information that could be expected to have an impact on their share price.

Greenpeace says it will now take the matter to the Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC) to investigate possible breaches of the Corporations Law and to determine if ASIC is satisfied with ASX�s response.

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