Esso Australia has been given the green light to permanently plug and abandon the Seahorse (SHA) and Tarwhine (TWA) subsea wells in the Gippsland Basin offshore Victoria.
The Australian regulator NOPSEMA has approved the company’s plug and abandonment campaign that will use the Noble Tom Prosser Jack Up Rig in production licences VIC/L1 and VIC/L18 in the eastern Bass Strait.
The SHA and TWA wells are 15km and 23km off the Gippsland coastline, south of Lakes Entrance in a water depth of 43m.
Esso expects to commence the activity this month and complete it no later than September 2021, with the work to take 30 days per well to complete the activities.
The ExxonMobil Australia subsidiary is the operator of the Gippsland Basin joint venture (Esso, BHP) and the Kipper Unit JV (Esso, BHP, MEPAU).
In connection with these joint ventures, Esso operates 23 offshore platforms and installations in the Bass Strait and 600km of subsea pipelines.
In March, the company reported it was planning to undertake a number of offshore activities within the Gippsland Basin.
The program included drilling of two subsea gas production wells in the West Barracouta field, plus two subsea gas production wells in the Kipper field.
In addition, Esso outlined that it would also wanted to undertake well plug and abandonment works at SHA and TWA, as well as at the Whiting platform, Mulloway/Whiptail and Perch/Dolphin.
The SHA subsea well was plugged with solids in 2014 and the wellbore was circulated to replace its contents with inhibited water.