Beach Energy has finally been given the green light by the national regulator to drill a single exploration well offshore Victoria in the Otway Basin.
The Artisan-1 well is 32km off Victoria’s southwest coast at a water depth of 71m.
Beach experienced delays at the beginning of last year when it was forced to terminate a contract with Ocean Onyx rig operator, Diamond Offshore Drilling.
The company cancelled the agreement after the semi-submersible Ocean Onyx rig was late arriving in Victorian waters for the start of the Otway Basin offshore drilling campaign, which was scheduled to commence in the first or second quarter of 2020.
As the arrival in mid-April was later than what was agreed and specified in the rig contract, the company had the right to terminate the contract.
Beach, with the support of its joint venture partner O.G. Energy, then executed an offshore drilling agreement with Diamond Offshore Drilling for the project in August last year.
As part of the agreement, Diamond will use its Ocean Onyx semi-submersible rig to provide drilling of up to nine wells (six firm and three options), with activities to commence between December 2020 and March 2021.
Beach outlined that the first well in the drilling sequence was expected to be the Artisan-1 exploration well, followed by a series of development wells in the Geographe and Thylacine gas fields.
“The agreement, which is at a globally competitive rig rate for deep water semi-submersible rigs, includes provisions for COVID-19 related costs and delays,” Beach advised.
Outlined in the environmental plan to NOPSEMA, Beach advised that drilling is anticipated to occur within the period from January 1, 2021 to June 30, 2021.
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