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Otway Exploration Drilling Program

Activity type Drilling
Activity subtypes Other survey
Lifecycle Classification Exploration
Submitted by ConocoPhillips Australia SH1 Pty Ltd
Submission date 09 November, 2023
Subtype New
Decision date
RMS ID 7618
Status Under assessment (with NOPSEMA)
Link to previously accepted EP
Aaron Burt
Phone: +61 (0) 7 3182 7122
Location map (click to enlarge)
Location map - Activity: Otway Exploration Drilling Program (refer to description)

ConocoPhillips Australia SH1 Pty Ltd and ConocoPhillips Australia SH2 Pty Ltd (‘ConocoPhillips Australia’) are planning to undertake exploration activities in offshore permits VIC/P79 and T/49P located in Commonwealth waters of the Otway Basin, 19 km offshore of Victoria and 28 km offshore of King Island, Tasmania.

ConocoPhillips Australia’s proposed Otway Exploration Drilling Program involves seabed surveys at up to a maximum of nine locations, and drilling up to a maximum of six exploration wells in water depths ranging from 53 m to 500 m. The activity is scheduled to commence no earlier than 1st of April 2024 and will be completed no later than 31st of December 2028, with the exact timing dependent on the receipt of environmental approvals and the availability of a semi-submersible mobile offshore drilling unit (‘MODU’).

Seabed surveys and drilling operations will be conducted 24 hours per day, 7 days per week. A 500 m radius Safe Navigation Area will be established around the seabed survey vessel/s and any towed equipment. Seabed surveys are expected to take no more than one week at each location and will be conducted by one to two vessels.

During drilling, a 500 m radius Petroleum Safety Zone and 2 km radius cautionary zone will be established around each well. Drilling will take typically 30-40 days, but no more than 90 days at each location, with the MODU supported by up to three vessels to transport equipment and provide for standby. Helicopters will support crew changes several times per week.

The following phases summarise the planned exploration program:
• Seabed surveys involving geophysical survey and geotechnical sampling.
• Move MODU to location, position, and establish mooring pattern.
• Drill conductor and surface hole sections, then case in steel pipe and cement in place.
• Install surface wellhead, blowout preventer (BOP), marine riser and test.
• Drill and construct well to total depth, with cemented casing strings.
• Run well evaluation program.
• If a hydrocarbon reservoir is discovered, the well may be tested with flaring through the flare boom.
• Conduct contingency activities such as sidetrack drilling, re-drilling sections and re-spudding.
• In parallel to well operations, conduct support operations using vessels, helicopter, ROVs, etc.
• Permanently plug and abandon the well and remove equipment from the seafloor.
• Relocate MODU to next location, or demobilise from final location.

Further information about the activity, the environmental assessment process, and the consultation process can be found at:

Other Details
Locations Otway
Commonwealth waters adjacent to VIC
Titles (or other instruments) VIC/P79
Current Documents (Under assessment)
EP Document

Location map

Titleholder Report


Previous EP Documents (Open for comment)
EP Document

Location map