West Barracouta milestone in midst of COVID19 response efforts

Esso Australia reached a significant milestone when it recently completed drilling the two new West Barracouta wells in Bass Strait.

The West Barracouta development, located in the VIC/L1 block offshore Victoria, will provide much-needed gas for the Australian domestic market by 2021.

ExxonMobil Australia Chairman, Nathan Fay, said he was extremely proud of the teams’ efforts to complete the West Barracouta wells in spite of the additional pressures of COVID-19.

“The drilling program was only partly completed when we started activating our COVID-19 response. This presented significant challenges for the team, especially when you consider we needed to manage strict workforce and process restrictions on the Noble Tom Prosser drilling rig.

 “Despite the increased challenges presented by the COVID-19 pandemic, the Australia Upstream Integrated Solutions Wells team were able to complete drilling these wells safely,” said Nathan.

 “That the team has been able to maintain their focus to flawlessly execute this work, with everything else that is going on in the world around us at the moment, is something we should all be immensely proud of.”

The team will now turn their attention to construction of associated gas production infrastructure that will link the West Barracouta development back to the existing Barracouta field. This construction is set to be completed in early 2021, with West Barracouta gas expected to be flowing to Australia soon after. 

“While we continue to work on the West Barracouta development, due to COVID-19 related challenges, we will pause the other drilling work that was planned for the remainder of this year and review timing for this program of works.” said Nathan.

“These are unprecedented times and we’ve had to adjust work plans so we can focus on keeping our workforce safe, and maintain our critical operations and supply of energy to Australia.”

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