BP plans to drill Ironbark well in October

BP’s environment plan for the Ironbark-1 exploration well has been approved by the Australian offshore regulator, NOPSEMA, and BP is preparing to drill the well in October 2020.

Ocean Apex drilling rig; Source: Diamond
Ocean Apex drilling rig
Ocean Apex drilling rig; Source: Diamond

The well is located in exploration permit WA-359-P offshore Australia operated by BP with Cue Energy, Beach Energy, and New Zealand Oil & Gas as partners.

BP and partners entered into a joint operating agreement covering exploration permit WA-359-P in March 2019. Under the work program, the partners are required to drill a single exploration well within the permit.

The environment plan was first submitted in December 2019 and then resubmitted in January 2020.

The Ironbark exploration drilling program is in Commonwealth waters approx. 170 km offshore from Karratha.

Ironbark-1 drilling activities are planned to start in October 2020 with final timing dependent on the progress of the current drilling program being conducted by the Diamond Offshore-owned Ocean Apex drilling rig, which is currently under contract in the area for another operator.

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Drilling activities are expected to take approximately 90-100 days.

Cue Energy CEO, Matthew Boyall, commented on the approval: “Cue Energy welcomes the approval of the Ironbark Exploration Drilling Environment Plan and is excited with the continuing progress toward the drilling of the Ironbark-1 well, which is expected to spud in about 3 months”.

Ironbark well map
Ironbark well map