Photo: Australian coast; Photo by Michael Lämmli on Unsplash

Inpex submits plan for survey work offshore Australia

Japanese E&P company Inpex has submitted an environment plan to Australia’s National Offshore Petroleum Safety and Environmental Management Authority (NOPSEMA) for a 2D seismic survey in the Browse and Offshore Canning basins.

Source: Inpex

Inpex proposed to carry out a 2D seismic survey of exploration permits WA-532-P and WA-533-P in the Browse and Offshore Canning Basins as well as the acquisition of seismic data in production license WA-50-L, also in the Browse Basin.

At the closest point, the survey activity will be undertaken over 87 kilometers west of Broome and 42 kilometers offshore from the Dampier Peninsula in water depths between 50 and 600 meters.

According to NOPSEMA, the survey will be undertaken by a seismic survey vessel towing an underwater seismic source and a single streamer behind it.

The seismic source will use compressed air to emit regular pulses of sound which reflect off the seabed and underlying geological rock formations and structure boundary. The reflected sound will be received by the streamer towed behind the survey vessel.

During the survey, data will be acquired along a grid of broadly spaced, approximately orthogonal lines some three to six kilometers apart within the acquisition area.

Based on the environmental risk assessments presented in the environment plan (EP), an acceptable window of opportunity was determined to be from November 1 to May 31 in either calendar year that the EP applies.

“[…] no seismic acquisition will occur during the period June 1 to October 31 in either 2020 or 2021 when the sensitivity of whales, to acoustic noise, is at its greatest,” NOPSEMA stated.

Also, operation of the seismic source will not occur in areas that are designated as a National Park Zone and Habitat Protection Zone of the Kimberley Australian Marine Park. Vessels and the streamer will maintain a safe operating distance from these locations.

It is worth noting that exploration permits WA-532-P and WA-533-P were awarded to Inpex in Australia’s 2016 and 2017 offshore petroleum exploration acreage releases, respectively.

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