ConocoPhillips Australia and 3D Oil Plan to Drill Two Wells in Australia's Otway Basin in 2025
Posted 14/07/2023 12:30
ConocoPhillips Australia, along with its partner 3D Oil Ltd., has awarded a drilling contract to Transocean Equinox for two wells in Australia's Otway Basin. The drilling is expected to commence in 2025. ConocoPhillips Australia has initiated the environmental plan (EP) as part of the regulatory approval process for the exploration projects, according to 3D Oil's announcement to the Australian Securities Exchange.
The EP outlines seabed surveys and proposes drilling up to six exploration wells in exploration permits VIC/P79 and T/49P, located in Commonwealth waters offshore of Victoria and King Island, Tasmania. The environmental plan is set to be submitted to the National Offshore Petroleum Safety and Environmental Management Authority by the end of the year. The proposed completion date for the exploration campaign is December 31, 2028.
The selected drilling rig, Transocean Equinox, is a semi-submersible rig well suited for operating in harsh environments such as the Otway Basin, as stated by 3D Oil. ConocoPhillips Australia is actively developing a promising portfolio of drill targets that could be rapidly commercialized by the joint venture in the event of a discovery. The drilling of two exploration wells with limited financial exposure to 3D Oil could have a transformative impact on the company.
3D Oil holds a 20 percent stake in both the VIC/P79 and T/49P permits, which are operated by ConocoPhillips based in Texas. ConocoPhillips had previously farmed out 75 percent of the T/49P permit to 3D Oil as part of an agreement announced on December 18, 2019. In the event of a successful exploration and the field moving to production, ConocoPhillips Australia intends to supply the gas to the Australian east coast domestic gas market, as stated by ConocoPhillips Australia President Nick McKenna.
ConocoPhillips is also the majority shareholder in the Australia Pacific LNG joint venture with a 47.5 percent stake, which includes the operating rights for the Curtis Island facility. In 2020, the company divested its assets in Australia's west to redirect capital to other long-term profitable projects. ConocoPhillips completed the divestments, including its stake in the Darwin LNG facility, Bayu-Undan field, Athena field, Poseidon field, Barossa project, and Caldita field, in March 2020.
ConocoPhillips has a successful track record of over two decades of operations in Australia and remains committed to the Australia Pacific LNG project and further exploration activities, as stated by the then Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer, Matt Fox.