The National Offshore Petroleum Safety and Environmental Management Authority (NOPSEMA) has received an environment plan submission from Equinor for its proposed petroleum drilling activity in the Great Australian Bight.
Equinor is the sole titleholder of exploration permit 39 (EPP39). As part of the permit commitment, Equinor plans to drill the Stromlo-1 exploration well.
The well is located in the Ceduna sub-basin, off southern Australia. The well is located approximately 400 km southwest of Ceduna and 476 km west of Port Lincoln and in a water depth of approximately 2240 m.
The petroleum activity will occur anytime between October and May during the three years validity period from 2020 to 2022. The duration of the drilling of the Stromlo-1 well is expected to be approximately 60 days.
In accordance with the Environment Regulations, NOPSEMA will now commence its formal assessment of the plan, under which a proposed activity must be found to meet all legislative requirements to proceed. Through its assessment, NOPSEMA will consider potential environmental impacts from the proposed activity to ensure appropriate precautions are taken.
The regulatory assessment process is iterative, and it is normal for environment plans to move between the proponent and NOPSEMA throughout the assessment process.
NOPSEMA expects to have made a decision by the 23 May 2019, but it may happen sooner or later than expected.