Woodside postpones multiple wells but progresses offshore Australia, Senegal projects

Aug. 13, 2020
Woodside Energy has deferred planned exploration activities offshore Australia, Myanmar, and Republic of Korea, the company revealed in its latest results statement.

Offshore staff

PERTH, AustraliaWoodside Energy has deferred planned exploration activities offshore Australia, Myanmar, and Republic of Korea, the company revealed in its latest results statement.

Affected programs include the planned Gemtree-A exploration well off northwest Australia and a 3D seismic survey offshore Republic of Korea in blocks 8 and 6-1N.

However, Woodside did complete seismic survey activities off Australia and Senegal during the first half of the year, covering a total area of around 1,865 sq km (720 sq mi).

In addition, the government of Republic of the Congo confirmed the company’s participation in the production-sharing contract for the offshore block Marine XX, which has a one-well commitment before the end of 2025.

COVID-19 caused planned exploration drilling campaign offshore Myanmar to be postponed, but Woodside as drilling operator has worked with its partners and contractors on a revised drilling program. Pending approvals, the program could now start in the first half of 2021.

At the North West Shelf (NWS) project off Western Australia, numbers of personnel on site were reduced and non-essential maintenance deferred, in response to the pandemic and the need to trim opex.

One completed improvement project has allowed temporary remote operation of the offshore North Rankin complex. As well as mitigating operational risks posed by COVID-19, it should lead to improved production performance during future cyclone seasons, the company said.

Last month, the NWS co-venturers executed amendments to joint venture governance documents enabling processing of third-party gas through the NWS project facilities.

The NWS project extension involves refurbishing and extending the life of the NWS facilities to support third-party gas over the coming decades. Earlier this year, the Western Australian Parliament passed the North West Shelf Gas Development (Woodside) Agreement Amendment Bill 2019 (WA), which extends the term of the North West Gas Development (Woodside) Agreement Act 1979 (WA) to 2059.

In the same region, drilling started in March for the Pyxis Hub project associated with the Pluto LNG complex. This involves the subsea tieback of the Pyxis, Pluto North and Xena infill wells.

Work has continued on the Pluto water handling project, which entails construction and installation of a water handling module on the Pluto platform to enable wet gas production from 2021. The module should be lifted into place later in 2020.

In February, MODEC purchased a VLCC tanker to undergo conversion into the FPSO for the deepwater Sangomar oil project offshore Senegal. The vessel is due to undergo tank inspection and cleaning, with modifications slated to start in 4Q.

At the same time, manufacturing activities are progressing for the subsea, umbilical, riser and flowlines package, with subsea tree assembly already under way.

Long-lead items are under order for development drilling, due to start in mid-2021, with preparations ongoing in Senegal to support these activities. Processing of high definition 3D seismic acquired earlier this year over the Sangomar concession (RSSD) is also making advancing.

State oil company Petrosen has exercised an option to increase its interest from 10% to 18%. Woodside’s revised operated interest in the joint venture is now 31.89%.