Australia’s National Offshore Petroleum Safety and Environmental Management Authority (NOPSEMA) has advised Equinor that it is unable to make a decision on their environment plan for proposed exploration drilling in the Great Australian Bight within the initial 30-day assessment period. The next decision point is now scheduled for 27 June 2019.
According to NOPSEMA, the extension was taken in accordance with government regulations and is due to the size of the submission and complexity of the assessment.
Equinor is the sole titleholder of exploration permit 39 (EPP39). As part of the permit commitment, Equinor plans to drill the Stromlo-1 exploration well.
The well is located in the Ceduna sub-basin, off southern Australia. The well is located approximately 400 km southwest of Ceduna and 476 km west of Port Lincoln and in a water depth of approximately 2240 m.
The petroleum activity will occur anytime between October and May during the three years validity period from 2020 to 2022. No drilling will take place between June to September inclusive.
The duration of the drilling of the Stromlo-1 well is expected to be approximately 60 days. Commencement of the drilling is planned for late 2020.
The drilling will be carried out by a Mobile Offshore Drilling Unit (MODU) supported by three offshore vessels and helicopters. The support vessels will resupply the MODU from the supply base at Port Adelaide while the helicopters will operate from Ceduna.
The Stromlo-1 well will not be cored or production tested for hydrocarbons in the event of a discovery. Once the well has been drilled, it will be permanently plugged and abandoned. The results will be evaluated prior to determining whether to proceed with appraisal or further exploration.
For more information on the proposed activity, and to subscribe to updates, go to the Stromlo-1 Exploration Drilling Program page.
To access Equinor’s submitted environment plan and their response to public comments, click here.