Photo: Illustration; Source: Solstad

BP takes Solstad vessel trio for Ironbark drilling support

Oil major BP has chartered three Solstad Offshore’s vessels to support the company’s Ironbark drilling campaign offshore Australia.

Solstad Offshore said on Monday that BP awarded contracts for two anchor handling tug and supply (AHTS) vessels Normand Saracen and Far Senator and the platform supply vessel (PSV) Normand Leader.

According to the vessel provider, the trio will be working with Diamond Offshore’s semi-submersible drilling rig Ocean Apex throughout the one-well campaign, estimated to last 90 days.

Ocean Apex; Source: Diamond Offshore BP Ironbark
Ocean Apex; Source: Diamond Offshore

The contracts for the vessels are expected to start during the fourth quarter of 2020. All three vessels will operate from Dampier, Australia.

This represents BP’s first drilling campaign in Australia for several years and Solstad is pleased to be the vessel partner of choice to support BP’s activities“, Solstad said.

It is worth reminding that BP’s environment plan for the Ironbark-1 exploration well was approved by the Australian offshore regulator NOPSEMA in mid-July.

At the time, BP stated it would drill the well in October 2020 with final timing dependent on the progress of the current drilling program being conducted by the rig for another operator.

The program comprises the drilling, evaluation, and plugging and abandonment of one exploration well. The proposed well is located in Commonwealth waters and has a water depth of approximately 300 meters.

Ironbark location; Source: BP
Ironbark location; Source: BP

As for the 2014-built Ocean Apex, it was hired for the drilling of the Ironbark prospect in exploration permit WA-359-P off Western Australia back in February 2019.

The WA-359-P permit is located in the Carnarvon Basin. The Ironbark-1 well, expected to drill to 5,500 meters, will be the first test of the Ironbark prospect.

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