Photo: Dancer-1 well location; Source: Santos

Santos gearing up for new well offshore Australia

Australian oil and gas giant Santos has filed an environmental plan for exploration drilling of the Dancer-1 well, located offshore Australia, to Australian authorities and the plan is now under assessment.

Dancer-1 well location - Santos
Dancer-1 well location; Source: Santos

Under the plan, Santos proposes to undertake a single-well exploration drilling campaign in permit area WA-1-P, targeting a gas reservoir in the Legendre formation.

The permit area is within offshore Commonwealth waters in water depths of approximately 63 metres.

The drilling activity will be carried out using a jack-up mobile offshore drilling unit (MODU) with support vessels and helicopters.

A sidetrack or re-spud is not planned as part of the activity but is included as a contingency.

This Environment Plan (EP) covers drilling activities and all MODU, vessel and helicopter operations within the operational area.

A Petroleum Safety Zone (PSZ) of 500 m radius established around the well location. The well will be drilled within an operational area measuring 2 km x 2 km square.

In the event of a re-spud, the new well location would remain within the operational area.

Drilling activities are planned for approximately 30 days. However, contingency (up to 75 days) is provided to account for unfavourable weather, additional drilling (e.g. a re-spud) or operational challenges.

Drilling is planned to start in 4Q 2021 and the EP remains valid until the end of 2022.

The MODU will be typically supported by two vessels, with a maximum of four accounted for in this EP. The support vessels are yet to be confirmed. The vessels will be either stationary or operating at slow speeds while undertaking activities within the operational area.

The well will only use water-based drilling fluids and no well testing to the surface (i.e. flowing hydrocarbon to the surface and flaring) is planned.

Downhole formation evaluation will be performed which may include wireline logging, Vertical Seismic Profiling and coring. After completion of the drilling activity, the well will be plugged and abandoned (P&A).