Following the recent Annie gas field discovery, Cooper Energy has provided an update on its offshore Otway gas exploration program in VIC/P44 (Cooper 50 per cent interest holder; Mitsui E & P Australia 50 per cent interest).
The Annie gas field is the first Otway Basin discovery in 11 years, with the most recent being the nearby Netherby gas field in 2008. Annie-1 is also the first offshore gas exploration well Cooper has drilled in Australia and the first of an $80 million drill campaign by the Joint Venture this year to find new gas supply for south-east Australia.
The exploration well Annie-1 is located approximately 9 kilometres offshore Victoria in a water depth of 58 metres. The field is located between the producing Henry (15 kilometres west) and depleted Minerva (11 kilometres east) gas fields.
Cooper has confirmed that the Annie-1 wellbore has now been securely plugged with downhole cement plugs installed.
Abandonment of the well was delayed following the failure of two of the Diamond Offshore Ocean Monarch drilling rig’s eight mooring chains. This incident has required repair to the affected chains and inspection of the remaining six chains, which is expected to be completed later this week, at which point final abandonment operations will resume (weather permitting). Abandonment of Annie-1 is now expected to be completed within the next week.
Cooper has said that an analysis into the root cause of the failure of the two mooring chains may take more than a month to complete. Therefore, Cooper Energy has proposed to defer the drilling of the Elanora-1 well that was scheduled to follow Annie-1. Drilling of Elanora-1 will be considered in the context of future campaigns.
On Monday, Cooper Energy’s Managing Director, David Maxwell, said that while they are closing the drilling campaign early after the completion of one well, the team is pleased with its outcome.
“The discovery of the Annie gas field has added to our portfolio of development opportunities which can add to our reserves and production growth. Elanora remains as an exploration target to test in the future,” he commented.