Santos have proposed to undertake a 3D seismic marine survey over a portion of exploration permit areas in the Bedout Sub-Basin, offshore Western Australia.
Currently under assessment by the Australian regulator, the company wants to survey permits WA-437-P and WA-541-P and surrounding waters in the sub-basin in Commonwealth waters.
At its closest point, the survey operation area is located 49km from the nearest land, 87km from the nearest mainland coastline and 102km from the nearest regional town Port Hedland.
Outlined in the environment plan (EP), the survey data is required to develop regional geologic models to inform the exploration permit retention strategy, and the potential location of future drilling of exploration and development wells.
Santos intends to acquire the full survey in 2021 but if not achievable, the full survey will be acquired in 2022, with it undertaken between the dates of February 1 to July 31.
“The seismic survey vessel will travel along a series of pre-determined lines towing cables which contain microphones. As the survey vessel travels along the lines, sound waves will be directed down through the water and into the geology below the seabed,” Santos outlined in its EP.
“The sound that reflects back is measured by the microphones and is later processed to provide information about the structure and composition of geological formations below the seabed.”
The company expects the survey will take at least 38 days to complete, with operations occurring on a 24-hour basis.
The National Offshore Petroleum Safety and Environmental Management Authority (NOPSEMA) has opened the survey for public comment until December 18.