The National Offshore Petroleum Safety and Environmental Management Authority (NOPSEMA) recently approved Shell’s drilling endeavours on the Crux Offshore Project.
The Crux development drilling program, inclusive of drilling template and docking pile installation, is the first significant infield activity planned to occur to support the execution of the Crux development.
The Shell-operated Crux development is located in Commonwealth waters in the northern Browse Basin, 190km offshore north-west Australia and 620 km north-east of Broome, in approximately 165 metres (m) water depth.
The Crux gas field has been identified as a source of backfill gas to the existing Prelude Floating Liquefied Natural Gas (FLNG) facility.
The project is being progressed by the Crux Joint Venture with Shell Australia as majority operator and encompasses the Production Licence AC/L10.
The first environmental approval for Crux was the Crux Offshore Project Proposal (OPP), which was accepted in August 2020 by the National Offshore Petroleum Safety and Environmental Management Authority (NOPSEMA).
The drilling template installation is the first activity that will be undertaken in relation to this environment plan (EP). This activity is currently proposed to occur in the first quarter of 2024, ahead of the MODU arrival.
The drilling template installation campaign is nominally schedule to occur over a one month period. Following the MODU arrival, drilling activities will commence for a planned duration of approximately 10 months, with an additional 10-month contingency drilling period.
At the completion of the drilling campaign the wells will be temporarily suspended, and subsequent well completion activities will be undertaken following the topside installation (well completion activities will be covered by a separate EP).
The docking pile guides and docking piles will be installed following the suspension of the wells and sail away of the MODU. This installation is planned to be completed during a one-week campaign however, weather constraints and subsurface conditions may see this extending over a one month period.
This EP will remain active following the drilling campaign for the duration that the wells are temporarily suspended, which is planned to be approximately 21 months.