Beach Energy (Beach) supplies natural gas for the ongoing needs of Victorian homes, business and industry, through production at the Otway Gas Plant near Port Campbell and the Lang Lang Gas Plant,
80kms south-east of Melbourne CBD.
Beach successfully drilled one exploration well and six production wells in the Otway Basin offshore Commonwealth permits over the past four years. Four production wells have been connected and are now producing gas for the east coast market, with two remaining wells still to be connected.
Beach is continuing its commitment to supply natural gas to the east coast domestic market and has commenced planning for the Offshore Gas Victoria (OGV) Project to deliver the next phases of
exploration and development.
The OGV Project is planning activities across several phases and remains subject to a final investment decision. As planning progresses, project timings and final scope will be confirmed and updated in our communications.
Plug and abandonment
The OGV Project is a continuation of Beach Energy’s previous Phase 4 and 5 projects and may contain up to 11 wells to be drilled over approximately two years. Beach’s program of work has been optimised to allow for the permanent P&A of five suspended wells. These wells are isolated from hydrocarbon zones and are managed in accordance with a Wells Operation Management Plan to ensure well integrity.
Suspended exploration wells are P&A when they are not suitable as future production wells due to limited gas prospectivity. Cement plugs will be installed within the well to permanently seal the well and isolate it from formations. A cement plug will be installed at or close to the seabed and all casings will be cut at least 2 m below the mudline to ensure that the seabed is returned to the same condition prior to drilling (P&A). Debris in vicinity will also be surveyed and retrieved where feasible to do so.
The P&A of wells is often planned to coincide with the drilling of new exploration or production wells using the same drilling rig which is the case with the OGV Project.
Questions and Answers
The wells were drilled by previous lease titleholders, from 1985 through to the most recent well being drilled by Origin Energy in 2004. Beach and its joint venture partners acquired the retention leases and production licence, the wells and associated production assets from Origin Energy in 2018.
Although Beach is continuing development of natural gas in the Otway and Bass Basins, the suspended exploration wells are not suitable as future production wells. In addition, new exploration wells will be P&A shortly after drilling should results show limited prospectivity.
Cement plugs were installed to suspend and seal the wells. Since then, the wells have undergone routine monitoring and have met inspection criteria.
Although unlikely given the well construction method, if a leak was found during an inspection, the hydrocarbon volume and composition would be assessed in order to determine the required maintenance response or ‘plug and abandonment’ action.
No leaks have been observed from all suspended wells inspections to date.
Purpose of consultation
Feedback received through consultation will be used to inform Environment Plans for the industry regulator, NOPSEMA. Consultation and feedback with anyone whose functions, interests or activities may be affected by the project activities is an important part of developing these Environment Plans. If you believe this is you, we would like to hear from you.
People may request that the information they provide not be published in the Environment Plan.
If there is someone you believe may be affected by the proposed activities, please ask them to contact us.
Beach will consider all feedback, including any concerns or objections and will explore measures to reduce any impacts and risks.
Click here to learn more about consultation on offshore petroleum environment plans.
We are currently seeking questions and feedback from anyone whose functions, interests and activities may be affected by the following project activities.