NOPSEMA starts assessing Beach Energy’s Otway pre-drilling program

Australia’s National Offshore Petroleum Safety and Environmental Management Authority (NOPSEMA) has begun an assessment of Beach Energy’s proposed Otway development pre-drilling anchoring program.

NOPSEMA stated that Beach Energy’s plan was submitted on March 3, 2020, and that it was currently under assessment.

The company’s subsidiary, Beach Energy Operations Limited, proposed to drill up to six development wells and abandon three existing subsea wells, and potentially unsuccessful development wells, in Commonwealth waters of the Otway Basin.

Prior to drilling the first well of the campaign, which will either be Thylacine North-1 or Thylacine West-1 in T/L2, Beach plans for an anchor handling tug support (AHTS) vessel to pre-lay the anchors and mooring lines of the mobile offshore drilling unit.

The closest point to shore for the anchoring program is approximately 66 kilometers from Port Campbell off Victoria’s southwest coast.

The anchoring activities will be in water depths ranging from approximately 100 – 105 meters. The operational area for the anchoring program has been defined as a two-kilometer radius around the TN-1 and TW-1 well site.

The Otway development drilling and well abandonment program is planned to start in either the first or second quarter of 2020, with the anchoring program to be completed immediately before this. The anchoring program is expected to take up to one week.

At its maximum, 1,728 square meters of seabed will likely be disturbed, based on a maximum of 12 anchors and associated mooring chain.

It is worth adding that Thylacine is already a natural gas producing field, and that gas from its production wells is being piped and processed at the Otway Gas Plant near Port Campbell.

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