Australia’s National Offshore Petroleum Safety and Environmental Management Authority (NOPSEMA) has accepted ExxonMobil’s proposal for a series of geophysical and geotechnical surveys in the Gippsland Basin.
To remind, ExxonMobil submitted a revised proposal for the surveys in mid-July. The offshore regulator accepted the revised proposal on Wednesday, July 31.
In the proposal, Esso Australia Resources, a subsidiary of ExxonMobil, stated that it would undertake a series of surveys in 11 existing license areas in the Gippsland basin over the next few years.
According to NOPSEMA, the survey program is required to provide information on several prospective future developments and potential plug and abandonment campaigns.
These include the development of the West Barracouta gas field in the VIC/L1 license and plug and abandonment activities at a number of existing wells in eight licences (VIC/L1, VIC/L2, VIC/L3, VIC/L5, VIC/PL15, VIC/PL17, VIC/L18, and VIC/RL1)
The proposal also stated that the survey program would also provide information on potential drilling activities inside VIC/L2, VIC/L9, and VIC/L10 licenses as well as additional developments around the existing Kipper facilities in the VIC/L25 license.
The survey program began in 2018 at West Barracouta and may continue intermittently until end 2023. Survey activities are likely to occur over a 2-15 day period at locations within each of the license areas.
The geophysical methods proposed were based on conventional techniques and include single beam echo sounder, multi-beam echo sounder, side-scan sonar, sub-bottom profiler including ultrahigh-resolution, and magnetometer.
Geotechnical sampling potentially includes rotary core sampling to 80 meters below the seabed, in-situ penetration testing to 80 meters below the seabed, piston coring or vibracoring between 3-6 meters below the seabed
According to the offshore regulator, the proposed survey program will be completed in multiple stages using different vessels.
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