Photo: Courtesy: NOPSEMA

Beach cleared for Otway Basin seabed survey

Australia’s National Offshore Petroleum Safety and Environmental Management Authority (NOPSEMA) has accepted the T/30P environmental plan from Beach Energy for a geophysical, geotechnical and 2D seismic survey activity in the Otway Basin.

This survey should take 28 days within the period 1 February and 30 June 2021.

Following the public comment period, Beach submitted the EP for assessment by NOPSEMA on 19 March 2020. NOPSEMA has since completed its assessment of the EP and accepted the plan in January 2021.

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At its closest point, the site survey is approximately 76 kilometres from the township of Port Campbell, Victoria.

The purpose of the site survey is to inform the location of future drilling of an exploration well as well as identify potential hazards.

The geophysical survey will obtain detailed bathymetry measurements and detect hazards on or below the seabed.

Data acquisition will be from the same vessel in two parts:

Beach Energy survey map

Geophysical survey to collect bathymetry data and detect hazards using: Multibeam echo sounder; Side-scan sonar; Sub-bottom profiler; Magnetometer; Ultra-Short Baseline Positioning System; and also Sound Velocity Profiler and Conductivity, Temperature and Depth profiler.

2D survey to inform shallow gas hazards. Equipment for this survey will consist of a sound source and also one streamer towed by a vessel.

Finally, the geotechnical survey will collect detailed information on the properties of the seabed and the underlying shallow sediments to build a picture of the local geology of the area and support geophysical data collected.

Specifically, the survey will consists of: Coring; Piezo Cone Penetrometer Test; and Grab samples.

The Otway Basin survey will be undertaken with only one vessel undertaking each component at a time: Geophysical survey – 7 days; Geotechnical survey 6 days; 2D survey – 8 days.