Bonaparte Basin Exploration Drilling

Closed 6 Oct 2022

Opened 6 Sep 2022


Full details of this EP including published Documents.
All open for comment EP's.
INPEX Browse E&P Pty Ltd on behalf of the Bonaparte Carbon Capture and Storage Assessment Joint Operating Agreement participants was successfully awarded GHG assessment permit G-7-AP, located offshore in the Bonaparte Basin off northern Australia. The G-7-AP permit area is wholly located within Commonwealth waters to the north of the Joseph Bonaparte Gulf and approximately 100 km west of Darwin Harbour. The proposed GHG activity covered by this EP will consist of pre-drill site surveys, and the drilling and evaluation of two initial exploration wells between 2023 and 2024. Up to three possible additional wells and associated pre-drill site surveys may also be drilled in an area of G-7-AP within the life of the EP.

The pre-drill site survey associated with the initial exploration drilling campaign will last for approximately 30 days and is provisionally expected to be conducted in the first half of 2023 with the drilling activities scheduled to commence thereafter. The scope of the surveys includes multibeam echo sounder, side-scan sonar, magnetometer, sub-bottom profiling, seabed grab sampling and one geotechnical borehole/or several piezo-cone penetrometer tests at each proposed well location.

Drilling and evaluation activities for the initial exploration drilling campaign are expected to last for approximately 150 days for both wells and it is expected that the earliest commencement date will be in 2023. Once drilled to total depth, each well will undergo various evaluation techniques to assess reservoir parameters. These will include a water injectivity test and a vertical seismic profile (VSP). Various other wireline formation evaluation techniques will also be completed. The activity described in this EP does not involve the injection of carbon dioxide (CO2); the aim is to assess the suitability of potential reservoirs for future CO2 storage.

Drilling will be conducted using either a jack-up or semi-submersible mobile offshore drilling unit (MODU). It is anticipated that a minimum of two support vessels will be needed to provide support for the drilling activity and personnel transfers to and from the MODU will be by helicopter several times per week. Operations will occur 24 hours a day.

The exact location of the proposed pre-drill site surveys and wells in G-7-AP is yet to be finalised; however, they will fall within the boundaries of the proposed project area, a small section of the broader GHG assessment permit where water depths range from approximately 75 m to 100 m.

At the end of the drilling and evaluation activities both wells drilled during the initial exploration drilling campaign will be permanently plugged and abandoned with the conductor and casings cut below the sea floor (mudline) and all equipment removed. Any additional wells drilled during the life of this EP may remain in place for future use. All well abandonment activities will be undertaken in accordance with the requirements of the OPGGS Act and the OPGGS (Resource Management and Administration) Regulations 2011.

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