Santos’ Bonaparte Basin seismic survey plan open for comments

Australia’s National Offshore Petroleum Safety and Environmental Management Authority (NOPSEMA) is inviting public comments for Santos’ proposed 3D seismic survey in the Bonaparte Basin.

Santos is proposing to undertake a 3D seismic marine survey over petroleum permit areas WA-454-P, WA-545-P, WA-27-R and WA-40-R and surrounding waters in the Petrel Sub-Basin off Western Australia.


At its closest point, the survey operational area is located approximately 114 kilometers from Kulumburu and approximately 169 kilometers from Wyndham.

The collected data will be used to develop regional geologic models to inform the exploration and development strategy for several petroleum permits, and the potential location of future drilling of exploration and development wells.

The plan is to acquire the full survey between 1 December 2021 and 31 March 2022. However, if this is not achievable, some or all of the work may be acquired the following year, between 1 December 2022 and 31 March 2023.

The survey will be acquired over Areas A, B, and C and is estimated to take up to 100 days to complete, with operations occurring on a 24-hour basis.

An additional five days of contingency time within the operational area has been provided as part of the environmental assessment, NOPSEMA reports.

Each area comprises an Active Source Zone and a Full-fold Acquisition Area. In the Full-fold Acquisition Area the seismic source will be operated in full acquisition mode to achieve the geophysical objectives of the survey. This combined area for this zone is approximately 3,584 km2, with water depths ranging from approximately 60-103 meters.

The Active Source Zone surrounds the Full-fold Acquisition Area and will be used to incrementally build the power of the seismic source from non-operation to full capacity, for soft starts. This zone is approximately 10,282 km2, with water depths ranging from approximately 45-105 meters.

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