BP files second plan for Great Australian Bight drilling

British oil company BP has submitted a second environment plan proposing drilling of two exploration wells in the Great Australian Bight.

To remind, the oil firm’s first plan, proposing four exploration wells, was rejected by the Australian offshore safety and environmental management authority NOPSEMA, as it didn’t meet the regulatory requirements. BP has been given an opportunity to modify and resubmit the first plan.

Regarding the second plan, NOPSEMA on Friday said that the wells proposed in the second submission are two of the four wells that were originally proposed in the first Great Australian Bight Exploration Drilling Program environment plan.

BP has notified NOPSEMA that it will remove these two wells from the scope of the first environment plan prior to resubmission of that plan. NOPSEMA has granted a request from BP for an extension to the timeframe for resubmission of the first environment plan to December 31, 2016 .

NOPSEMA will now assess BP’s second environment plan – with Stromlo-1 and Whinham-1 as proposed wells – and is expected to come back with the decision by September 19, 2016.

BP’s second environment plan entitled “Great Australian Bight Exploration Drilling Programme (Stromlo-1 and Whinham-1)” proposes to drill two wells.

The wells are Stromlo-1 and Whinham-1 respectively and will be drilled using the world’s largest semi-submersible drilling rig, the Ocean Greatwhite.

Stromlo-1 is located some 600 kilometers west of Port Lincoln and 400 kilometers southwest of Ceduna, in a water depth of approximately 2250 meters. Whinham-1 is located approximately 600 kilometers west of Port Lincoln and 350 kilometers m southwest of Ceduna, in a water depth of approximately 1150 meters.

According to the proposed plan, the drilling program is scheduled to start from Q4 2016 to Q1 2017. BP anticipates that each well will take approximately 75 days to drill. In the event of any technical or equipment delays, the duration may be greater, so the assessment for each of the wells has allowed for up to 150 days.

Offshore Energy Today Staff

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