Failure of rig’s mooring chains hampers Cooper’s well plans

  • Exploration & Production

Cooper Energy has decided to cut short its drilling program offshore Australia due to failure of two mooring chains on a Diamond Offshore-owned rig. This means that Cooper will leave the second well in the company’s planned, two-well campaign for a later date.

Ocean Monarch; Source: Quadrant Energy

Cooper Energy started drilling the Annie-1 gas exploration well, located in VIC/P44 in the Otway basin offshore Victoria, in early August. Cooper Energy is the operator and a 50% interest holder in VIC/P44.

The Annie-1 well, drilled using the Ocean Monarch rig, was announced as a new gas discovery in early September.

Following the discovery, Cooper said that the well would be plugged and abandoned. The rig was then scheduled to move to drill the second well in the two-well program, Elanora-1 in VIC/L24, 23 km southwest of Annie-1.

In an update on Monday, Cooper said that the Annie-1 wellbore had been plugged with downhole cement plugs installed. However, abandonment of the well has been delayed following the failure of two of the Ocean Monarch rig’s eight mooring chains.

This incident has required repair to the affected chains and inspection of the remaining six chains, Cooper explained. It is expected this work will be completed later this week, at which point final abandonment operations will resume, weather permitting. Abandonment of Annie-1 is now expected to be completed within the next week.


Second well deferred 


The company also added that the analysis into the root cause of the failure of the two mooring chains might take more than a month to complete. Therefore, Cooper Energy has proposed to defer the drilling of the Elanora-1 well that was scheduled to follow Annie-1.

Drilling of Elanora-1 will be considered in the context of future campaigns, Cooper said.

Cooper Energy Managing Director, David Maxwell, said: “While we are closing the drilling campaign early after the completion of one well, we are pleased with its outcome. The discovery of the Annie gas field has added to our portfolio of development opportunities which can add to our reserves and production growth. Elanora remains as an exploration target to test in the future.”

Offshore Energy Today Staff

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