Shell has kicked off drilling operations at Palta-1 exploration well, located approximately 70 km off the coast of the North West Cape, Australia.
The Palta-1 well, situated in the permit WA-384-P, has been confirmed to have spudded on Sunday 14 October 2012. The well is being drilled by the “Noble Clyde Bourdreaux” semi-submersible drilling rig.
The Shell-operated Palta-1 is expected to take approximately 60-90 days to drill in a water depth of 1,350 metres. The well is targeting the very large Palta prospect which is estimated to contain upwards of 13.5 trillion cubic feet (tcf) of gas if hydrocarbons are in place.
Shell received Federal environmental approval for Palta-1 in July 2011 which caused outrage among environmental groups because the prospect is located near the World Heritage-listed Ningaloo Reef.
Offshore Energy Today Staff, October 16, 2012