Development drilling has started at the Ichthys gas-condensate field, about 200 kilometres off the Western Australian coast.
The first development well at the project operated by Japan’s Inpex was spudded on Tuesday, February 3, 2015 by the semi-submersible drilling rig ENSCO-5006. The rig recently arrived at the field after undergoing major upgrades in Singapore.
Managing Director Ichthys LNG Project Louis Bon said the safe start to the drilling campaign was another major milestone for the project.
“Today we officially mark the beginning of our development drilling program after years of intensive optimisation studies and detailed planning,” Bon said. “This campaign will target the Brewster reservoir with 20 production wells.
He added: “The wells will be drilled into reservoirs about 4,000 to 4,500 metres beneath the seabed.”
Directional drilling technology will be used and the wells will be grouped around five drill centers, each designed to accommodate 4-6 wells.
The ENSCO-5006 will be joined at a later date by Transocean’s semi-submersible drilling rig, Jack Bates. Both rigs will be supported with aviation and marine services, as well as bulk goods supplies, from Inpex’s dedicated offshore logistics base in Broome, Western Australia.