Beach Energy cancels Otway pre-drilling anchoring program
Oil and gas company Beach Energy has cancelled its proposed Otway development pre-drilling anchoring program, which was under evaluation by Australia’s National Offshore Petroleum Safety and Environmental Management Authority (NOPSEMA).
NOPSEMA stated that Beach Energy’s plan, submitted in March 2020, was now cancelled. To remind, the plan was already under assessment by the offshore regulator.
The company’s subsidiary, Beach Energy Operations Limited, proposed to drill up to six development wells and abandon three existing subsea wells, and potentially unsuccessful development wells, in Commonwealth waters of the Otway Basin.
Before drilling the first well of the campaign, which was scheduled to be either Thylacine North-1 or Thylacine West-1 in T/L2, Beach planned for an anchor handling tug support (AHTS) vessel to pre-lay the anchors and mooring lines of the mobile offshore drilling unit.
The closest point to shore for the anchoring program is approximately 66 kilometres from Port Campbell off Victoria’s southwest coast.
In the case of plan approval, the anchoring activities would have been done in water depths ranging from approximately 100 – 105 meters. The operational area for the anchoring program was defined as a two-kilometre radius around the TN-1 and TW-1 well site.
The Otway development drilling and well abandonment program was planned to start in either the first or second quarter of 2020, with the anchoring program being set for completion immediately before that. The anchoring was expected to take up to one week.
As part of the plan – at its maximum – 1,728 square meters of seabed were likely be disturbed, based on a maximum of 12 anchors and associated mooring chain.
It is worth adding that Thylacine is already a natural gas producing field and that gas from its production wells is being piped and processed at the Otway Gas Plant near Port Campbell.
A spokesperson for Beach Energy said: “Beach and its Joint Venture Partner OGOG (Otway) Pty Ltd remain committed to the development of its undeveloped Otway Basin gas reserves, as well as exploration for additional gas reserves, targeting increased gas supplies for the Victorian gas market”.