Woodside Energy has been given the green light by the Australian regulator to drill a single exploration well in the North West Shelf offshore Western Australia.
The company advised that the activity would involve the drilling, formation evaluation and permanent abandonment of the Gemtree-A well (permit area WA-49-L) in the Barrow sub-Basin.
After submitting an environment plan to the National Offshore Petroleum Safety and Environmental Management Authority (NOPSEMA) in July, the drilling of the exploration well is expected to commence in 2021 and take about 50 days to complete.
The well will be drilled using a moored semi-submersible mobile offshore drilling unit (MODU), with two or three vessels to support the MODU during drilling activities.
Timing and duration of these activities is subject to change due to project schedule requirements, MODU/vessel availability, unforeseen circumstances and weather.
As part of the environment plan, Woodside addressed the potential environmental impacts from planned activities within the operational areas and any potential unplanned events that originate from within the area.
Woodside stated that a 500m petroleum safety zone, from which unauthorised vessels would be excluded, would be in place around the petroleum activities program location for the duration of the activities.