Safety regulator gives nod for Woodside’s offshore drilling plan

Australia’s oil and gas regulator NOPSEMA has accepted Woodside Energy’s environment plan for the operations at WA‐404‐P block offshore Western Australia.

Woodside plans to drill up to three exploration wells and up to three appraisal wells including the Ferrand exploration well, using a semi-submersible drilling rig. A MODU with similar specifications to the Ocean Apex or Atwood Osprey will be contracted for the Petroleum Activities Program.

The company also plans to re-enter previously drilled and suspended Noblige‐1 for well plug and abandonment. The MODU will be positioned at the Noblige-1 location and the BOP will be deployed onto the wellhead. The abandonment of Noblige-1 may include drilling through the existing cement suspension plug to gain access to the Noblige-1 wellbore to allow pumping of cement abandonment plugs.

Drilled cement cuttings (8 m3 total volume) would be discharged to sea bed in the same manner as conventional cuttings. The well will then be abandoned and BOP will be removed.

The proposed activities will be taking place approximately 260 km north‐west of Dampier, Western Australia. The closest landfall to the permit area is the Montebello Islands which is approximately 138 km south at the closest point.

The Australian oil and gas company expects to start working in the offshore block during the first quarter of 2018, with the drilling of the Ferrand-1 well.

Drilling of the Ferrand-1 and other exploration wells is expected to take approximately 90-120 days per well (including mobilization, demobilization and contingency) to complete.

Similarly, appraisal wells are expected to take approximately 90-120 days, excluding well testing activities. Well testing is expected to take approximately 25 days. The re-entry plug and abandonment of Noblige-1 is expected to take approximately 30 days.

Offshore Energy Today Staff

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