Semi-submersible drilling rig Ocean Apex, operated by Diamond Drilling, has been contracted by BP Developments Australia, for the drilling of the Ironbark prospect in exploration permit WA-359-P, in the Carnarvon Basin offshore Western Australia.
The Ironbark-1 well, expected to drill to 5,500m, will be the first test of the Ironbark prospect. Drilling is expected to begin in late 2020, following completion of the Ocean Apex’s other commitments. BP has initiated environmental planning activities for a site survey of the well location and the drilling activities.
BP is operator with 42.5% interest. Other partners include Cue Exploration with 21.5% interest, Beach Energy with 21% interest and New Zealand Oil & Gas with 15% interest.
Cue Energy CEO Matthew Boyall said the Ironbark prospect is estimated to contain 15tcf of prospective recoverable gas resource.
“Ironbark is a genuinely world-scale prospect in a highly prospective address,” he said.
“Securing the Ocean Apex sets a clear path for drilling. The rig contract, escrow funding and shareholder approval for New Zealand Oil & Gas to farm in have all been satisfied. NOPTA approval of an extension to the permit term to allow the well to be drilled is a remaining condition and Cue expects to submit an application soon,” Boyall said.