Woodside gets nod for Achernar drilling plan

Australian oil and gas safety regulator NOPSEMA has accepted Woodside Energy’s environment plan for a proposed drilling program in the WA-28-P permit north-west of Dampier offshore Western Australia.

Worth noting, the acceptance comes after several timeframe extensions, and requests by NOPSEMA for further information. Woodside plans to drill up to six wells (exploration and appraisal wells), including the Achernar exploration well.

The proposed Petroleum Activities Program is located in Commonwealth waters on the continental slope, approximately 127 km north-west of Dampier.

The closest landfall to the permit area are the islands of the Dampier Archipelago, which are approximately 85 km south south-east at the closest point. Water depths within the permit area range between from 100 meters to 129 meters. The proposed Petroleum Activities Program is scheduled to start in Q2 2019.

“NOPSEMA has assessed the environment plan in accordance with its assessment policies and procedures…NOPSEMA is reasonably satisfied that the environment plan meets the criteria set out in regulation…,” NOPSEMA said.

The next step is for Woodside to send an environment plan summary to NOPSEMA within 10 days of the acceptance. Drilling of the Achernar and other wells (exploration and appraisal) is expected to take approximately 90-120 days per well to complete.

Woodside originally planned to spud the first well in the second quarter of 2019, but it is not clear if this timeline is still valid, given several delays with the acceptance of the environment plan.

Offshore Energy Today Staff


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