Australian regulator mulls over CarbonNet’s offshore appraisal well plan

Noble Tom Prosser jack-up rig. Source: Noble

The Crown in right of Victoria has submitted a new environment plan (EP) for an appraisal well located offshore Victoria to Australia’s National Offshore Petroleum Safety and Environmental Management Authority (NOPSEMA).

The Crown in right of Victoria is proposing to drill an offshore appraisal well within Greenhouse Gas Assessment Permit VIC-GIP-002 in Commonwealth waters offshore Gippsland. VIC-GIP-002 is managed by the CarbonNet project within the Victorian Department of Jobs, Precincts, and Regions.

CarbonNet is investigating the potential for establishing a commercial scale carbon capture and storage (CCS) network in Gippsland.

The purpose of the offshore appraisal well is to confirm the viability of carbon dioxide (CO2) injection and storage capacity of CarbonNet’s preferred contingent storage formation, Pelican.

A jack-up rig will drill to a depth of about 1,500m below the seabed. Rock samples taken from the appraisal well will allow the project to validate existing geoscience models and confirm the rock properties of the formation. This activity will not involve the injection of CO2.

The appraisal well will be located approximately 8 km offshore, with the exact location to be determined once the results of geophysical and geotechnical investigations are finalized in mid-2019. Drilling is scheduled to take place between late 2019 and the end of June 2020, and is estimated to take between 45 and 60 days to complete.

NOPSEMA’s decision on the EP is expected by March 18, 2019.

As previously reported by Offshore Energy Today, Noble’s 2014-built jack-up rig Noble Tom Prosser was contracted to work on the CarbonNet project under a contract planned to start in November 2019. After the CarbonNet job, the Noble Tom Prosser will be passed on to ExxonMobil.

CarbonNet offshore appraisal well location map; Source: NOPSEMA

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