Photo: Archer 3D Seismic Map; Courtesy: Santos/NOPSEMA

Santos files plan for Archer 3D seismic survey

Australian energy company Santos plans to acquire a 3D marine seismic survey in the Bedout Sub-basin on the central North West Shelf called the Archer 3D MSS.

The Archer 3D MSS is located within exploration permit areas WA-437-P and WA-541-P, and surrounding waters.

The 3D seismic data will help develop regional geologic models to inform the exploration permit retention strategy, and the potential location of future drilling of exploration and development wells.

According to Santos Environmental Plan (EP), the survey operational area is located approximately 102 kilometres from the town of Port Hedland.

Seismic acquisition will be via methods and procedures similar to other seismic surveys conducted in Australian waters, using streamer-towing seismic survey vessel.

Santos intends to acquire the full survey in 2021. However, should this not be achievable, the full survey may be acquired in 2022.

The timing of the survey is dependent upon vessel availability, weather conditions, stakeholder consultation feedback, the receipt of the required statutory approvals and the control measures within the EP.

Also, the survey will only take place between 1 February to 31 July in either 2021 or 2022.

The survey will take at least 38 days to complete, with operations occurring on a 24-hour basis.

Operational area is approximately 4,752 square kilometres, with water depths ranging from some 63 metres to 106 metres.

Specifically, the survey area comprises the ‘Active Source Zone’ and ‘Full-fold Acquisition Area’.

The Full-fold Acquisition Area is the area within which the seismic source will be operated in full acquisition mode to achieve the geophysical objectives. This zone is approximately 1,600 square kilometres, with water depths ranging from 70 metres to 96 metres. Furthermore, the Active Source Zone surrounds the Full-fold Acquisition Area and is approximately 2,114 square kilometres, with water depths ranging from 67 metres to 99 metres.