Exxon files EP plan for ultra-deepwater well in Gippsland basin, offshore Australia

ExxonMobil has submitted a revised Environment Plan for exploration drilling in the Gippsland basin, 90 kilometers off the East Gippsland Victorian coast, Australia, to include the ultra-deepwater Sculpin-1 well.

Ocean Monarch; Source: Quadrant Energy

Exxon’s VIC/P70 block is located approximately 90 – 100 km from shore, with water depth within VIC/P70 ranging from 200 meters to over 3 kilometers. The drill locations Hairtail-1, Baldfish-1, and Sculpin-1, sit at ~359 meters, ~665 meters and ~2,300 meters respectively.

Block VIC/P70, in the deepwater Gippsland basin, was acquired by Esso Deepwater, a wholly owned subsidiary of Exxon Mobil Corporation, in 2Q, 2017.

Exxon last year received approvals for the Hartail-1 and Baldfish-1 wells, and in August 2018 said it had started the offshore exploration drilling program there to search for new sources of gas, using the Ocean Monarch semi-submersible drilling rig.

As mentioned, Exxon’s new plan now includes the ultra-deepwater exploration well Sculpin-1. Subject to relevant approvals, Exxon plans to start drilling at the Sculpin-1 prospect in the late second quarter of 2019, or in the early third quarter of the year.

Exxon submitted the revised EP on Thursday to the National Offshore Petroleum Safety and Environmental Management Authority (NOPSEMA). NOPSEMA expects to come up with the decision on whether to accept the plan on March 25, 2019.

The company’s VIC/P70 drilling program is targeting gas, to be sold to the Australian domestic gas market.

Exxon’s VIC/P70 block contains the Dory, Angel and Archer-Anemone fields, as well as the Fangtooth prospect, and incorporates the area previously the subject of blocks VIC/P45 and VIC/P59, previously explored by Apache Energy (Apache, 2008).

Offshore Energy Today Staff

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