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Offshore projects

Esso Australia, a subsidiary of ExxonMobil Australia, is planning on undertaking a program of work across some of its offshore assets, including those owned jointly by the Gippsland Basin Joint Venture, in 2018 and 2019. This program forms part of Esso’s ongoing investment in exploring domestic gas development opportunities to ensure that we can continue to meet Australia’s energy needs.

VIC/P70 drilling program

Esso Australia is planning to undertake an exploration drilling program in the VIC/P70 block, approximately 90km off the East Gippsland Victorian coast. The program will involve drilling two exploration wells, known as Baldfish and Hairtail, with the activity planned to commence in mid-2018. The drilling program is expected to last approximately 60 days.

The exploration wells will determine the extent of any gas reserves contained within the field and support any subsequent development. If successful, this development has the potential to bring online much needed new gas supplies, to offset declining production in existing Bass Strait fields which have been producing for more than 40 years.

Esso is preparing an Environment Plan and associated Oil Pollution Emergency Plan to identify, assess and manage environmental risks for the exploration drilling program. These plans will be submitted to the National Offshore Petroleum Safety and Environmental Management Authority (NOPSEMA), the offshore environment regulator, for review and acceptance in accordance with the Offshore Petroleum and Greenhouse Gas Storage Act 2006 and Offshore Petroleum and Greenhouse Gas Storage (Environment) Regulations 2009.

In developing these plans, Esso will conduct an environmental risk assessment to evaluate environmental risks associated with the activities being planned, incorporate prevention and mitigation measures, and undertake stakeholder consultation with parties that may be impacted by the proposed activities.

You can learn more about the project and identified environmental impacts here: 

You can also send us an email at or call (03) 9261 0260 if you would like to discuss this project.

Other projects

Esso is examining options to develop a gas field in the VIC/L1 block, known as West Barracouta, approximately 6km south west of the existing Barracouta platform as well as undertaking repair and maintenance works on its Cobia pipeline.

Geotechnical environmental and seabed surveys will commence in early 2018 to assess the location of potential well sites and flow line routes. As the project develops, additional consultation with stakeholders will be conducted.

The Cobia pipeline repair works are slated to commence in late 2018.

You can learn more about these projects here: 

You can also send us an email at or call (03) 9261 0260 if you would like to discuss either of these projects.

Having recently completed the largest single investment into Australia’s domestic gas market, the $5.5 billion Kipper Tuna Turrum Project, as well as the $400 million replacement pipeline project, Esso is pleased to continue investing in its Gippsland operations, bringing new domestic gas supplies to market and creating jobs.