CarbonNet expected to begin drilling an offshore appraisal well from late next month in Bass Strait

The Tom Prosser drilling rig, will begin drilling appraisal wells in Bass Strait late next month to examine the suitability of rock layers below the seabed for storing carbon dioxide. Image: Noble Corporation
The Tom Prosser drilling rig, will begin drilling appraisal wells in Bass Strait late next month to examine the suitability of rock layers below the seabed for storing carbon dioxide. Image: Noble Corporation

CARBONNET is expected to begin drilling an offshore appraisal well from late November at the Pelican site in Bass Strait.

Exact timing is dependent on logistics and weather.

The drilling is expected to take between 45 and 60 days, with a jack-up rig drilling to a depth of about 1500 metres below the sea bed.

The rig will be about eight kilometres offshore from Gippsland in Commonwealth waters.

This area will be gazetted and a map showing the exact location will be communicated to stakeholders before rig mobilisation.

An Environment Plan for the offshore appraisal well was approved by the National Offshore Petroleum Safety and Environmental Management Authority in April, and an Environment Plan summary is available on the NOPSEMA website.

Along with the data acquired from the marine seismic survey and the recent geophysical and geotechnical investigations, the well will verify the properties of rock layers below the seabed and confirm its suitability to store carbon dioxide.

During the operational phase, stakeholders with questions or concerns can phone CarbonNet's drilling management contractor AGR on 1800 312 966.

CarbonNet will hold drop-in sessions at the Golden Beach Community Hall during the drilling operations.

Location, dates and times will be advised in the November newsletter.

The CarbonNet Project is investigating the potential for establishing a commercial-scale carbon capture and storage network.

The network would bring together multiple carbon dioxide capture projects in Victoria's Latrobe Valley, transporting CO2 via a shared pipeline and injecting it into deep underground, offshore storage sites in Bass Strait.

Carbon capture storage involves capturing CO2 released by industrial processes, compressing it and then transporting it to an injection site to be sequestered deep underground for long term storage in suitable geological formations.

The CarbonNet website says it is being investigated as part of a suite of solutions with the potential to mitigate greenhouse gas emissions and help address climate change.

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