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APRIL 6, 2001
11:40 AM
CONTACT:  Greenpeace
Erwin Jackson +44 7733114681 or Susan Cavanagh +31 621296910
Greenhouse Fells First Oil Industry Domino
SYDNEY, AUSTRALIA - April 6 - Today's decision by oil multinational Suncor to abandon the Stuart Oil Shale Project in Queensland means the greenhouse-intensive industry is doomed, said Greenpeace. Suncor's Chief Financial Officer Michael O'Brien said last September that, "until oil shale can be developed on a sustainable basis meeting greenhouse gas emissions, ... it just won't happen and Suncor won't be part of it."

"This is the first domino to fall," said Greenpeace climate campaigner Erwin Jackson. "Other fossil fuel developers will follow suit - not because they have suddenly developed an environmental conscience but because the profits in greenhouse intensive industries are drying up."

Suncor announced today its withdrawal from the Stuart Project. Suncor had to pay $7million to the Australian joint venture partners Southern Pacific Petroleum and Central Pacific Minerals and surrender nearly 75million shares to be able to walk away from the failing industry.

"Suncor abandoning oil shale is a fatal blow to SPP/CPM. Oil shale is dead and its is the first major fossil fuel development killed by climate change," said Jackson. "The days of fossil fuels are finally ending as businesses realise the financial liabilities associated with greenhouse emissions."

Yesterday a report by financial analyst company Innovest stated reducing greenhouse emissions from the shale oil project would cost Suncor somewhere between A$50 to $200 million a year.

"The oil shale deposits held by Suncor's joint venture partner, Southern Pacific Petroleum/Central Pacific Minerals, are a dead asset, and any company thinking of replacing Suncor will face the same costs that made Suncor drop oil shale. Greenpeace will continue its campaign until the shale oil industry is stopped once and for all."

Greenpeace has been campaigning to stop the development of shale oil, the most greenhouse intensive of all fossil fuels, since 1998. It is part of Greenpeace's international campaign to stop dangerous levels of climate change caused by greenhouse gases.


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