Thylacine platform in the Otway Basin; Source: Beach Energy

More drilling ops on Beach Energy’s agenda offshore Australia

Beach Energy (Operations) Limited, a subsidiary of Australia’s oil and gas player Beach Energy, has handed over an environment plan (EP) to the country’s offshore regulator, entailing drilling activities off the coast of Australia.

Thylacine platform in the Otway Basin; Source: Beach Energy

The National Offshore Petroleum Safety and Environmental Management Authority (NOPSEMA) has confirmed that Beach Energy recently submitted an environment plan to undertake a drilling campaign within Commonwealth waters of the Otway and Bass basins.

The proposed scope of the drilling program encompasses drilling of up to six wells in Otway which may include a combination of drilling of up to five exploration or appraisal wells in exploration licenses VIC/P73 and/or VIC/P43 and drilling of up to two exploration wells in exploration license T/30P.

In addition, it may entail drilling of up to five wells in Bass which may contain a combination of drilling of up to four appraisal wells in retention licenses T/RL2, T/RL4, and/or T/RL5, and drilling, testing (contingent), and completing one infield well (Yolla 7) in production license T/L1.

Aside from this, there is also plugging, abandonment, and removal of well infrastructure above the mudline for five legacy suspended subsea exploration wells Thylacine 1 in T/L2, Geographe 1 in VIC/L23, Trefoil 1 in T/RL2, Yolla 1 in T/L1, and White Ibis 1 in T/RL4.

Based on the EP, the drilling and plug and abandonment (P&A) activities will be undertaken within a 3 km radius around the well sites while the drill rig is moored on location. The 3 km radius encompasses the outer extent of mooring equipment on the seabed and the 500 m petroleum safety zone (PSZ).

According to Beach Energy, the estimated timings for drilling activities is 30 – 40 days per well, completion is expected to take 15 – 20 days for one well, Yolla 7, and plug and abandonment operations are estimated to require 15 – 20 days per well. These activities will be conducted on a 24 hours per day, 7 days per week basis.

Furthermore, the timings equate to approximately 560 days of activity for the full drilling program, which will be undertaken from November 1, 2024, to December 31, 2028. The proposed offshore activities will be carried out with a single moored semi-submersible rig with a thruster-assisted mooring system. This rig will be supported by up to three vessels.

This EP submission comes after Beach Energy disclosed a proposal for the Otway Offshore Gas Victoria project, which outlines that wells that yield hydrocarbons will be tied back to the existing Otway Gas Production Pipeline (OGPP) and/or the existing Thylacine A platform, with the installation of new subsea flowlines and facilities.