Angel platform; Courtesy of Woodside

Woodside awaits green light for drilling and subsea tie-back to gas platform off Australia

Australian energy giant Woodside has submitted a revised environment plan (EP) to the country’s offshore regulator for drilling, subsea tie-back, and production activities off the coast of Australia to boost hydrocarbon production.

Angel platform; Courtesy of Woodside

The National Offshore Petroleum Safety and Environmental Management Authority (NOPSEMA) has confirmed that Woodside submitted a revised environment plan for the North West Shelf (NWS) project’s Angel operations, proposing to integrate drilling, subsea installation, commissioning and production from the Lambert West reservoir, also known as Lambert West tie-back, into the existing Angel production systems in Commonwealth waters within production licenses WA-16-L and WA-3-L and pipeline licenses WA-31-PL and WA-14-PL.

The Australian giant submitted the revised EP as the operator on behalf of the North West Shelf (NWS) project’s joint venture partners including Woodside, BP Developments AustraliaChevron AustraliaJapan Australia LNG (MIMI), and Shell Australia. The Angel platform is located in Commonwealth waters about 125 km northwest of Karratha in Western Australia and has been operating since 2008. This offshore not normally staffed (NNs) production platform that produces dry gas and condensate consists of subsea hydrocarbon gathering systems, a riser platform, and an export pipeline.

The scope of the revised environment plan entails routine production and associated activities; routine inspection, monitoring, maintenance, and repair (IMMR) of the platform and associated subsea infrastructure; well clean up and commissioning; drilling of new well in the Lambert West field; subsea infrastructure installation; and pre-commissioning and commissioning activities.

The Lambert West drilling and tie-back activities are planned for 2024, with contingency to be bumped to 2025. According to Woodside, the Angel platform will operate 24 hours a day for the five-year duration of the EP.

The gas and condensate are processed on the Angel platform and then transported via the 49-kilometer-long 30-inch export pipeline to the North Rankin Complex (NRC), and then onshore to the Karratha Gas Plant (KGP) for processing. The Angel platform is marked on nautical maps surrounded by a 500 m exclusion zone to shipping.

Woodside has been busy with several hydrocarbon projects. In September 2023, the Australian player brought on stream a deepwater oil project in the U.S. Gulf of Mexico ahead of the targeted first oil in 2024.

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The start of production from the Shenzi North project came only two weeks after Woodside got a green light for a field development plan (FDP) covering a deepwater oil project in the Perdido basin in the Gulf of Mexico, located 30 km south of the Mexico-U.S. maritime border.