BP seeks more time to prepare plan for drilling in Great Australian Bight

Oil giant BP has asked for more time from the Australian offshore petroleum regulator NOPSEMA to re-submit the company’s environment plan for exploration drilling in the Great Australian Bight. 

To remind, on May 16, 2016, NOPSEMA provided BP an opportunity to modify and re-submit the environment plan for exploration drilling in the Great Australian Bight as the plan did not meet the regulatory requirements. Before that, BP’s environment plan was also dismissed by the agency in November 2015.

The modified plan was expected to be re-submitted by July 15. However, on July 12, 2016, NOPSEMA granted BP’s request for an extension of the timeframe for re-submission so they may address the matters raised by NOPSEMA in the assessment.

The agency said that the modified plan is now expected to be re-submitted by August 31, at which time NOPSEMA will restart the assessment.

BP’s proposed Great Australian Bight exploration drilling program proposes to drill four exploration wells in Commonwealth marine waters in the area, using a semi-submersible drilling rig. GAB drilling area is approximately 400 km west of Port Lincoln and 300 km southwest of Ceduna in South Australia. The drilling area has water depths ranging between 1,000 and 2,500 m.

In order for exploration to start, BP needs to get its environment plan cleared by NOPSEMA. The project is scheduled to start in the summer of 2016-2017, with each well taking between 45 and 170 days to drill.

Offshore Energy Today Staff