Great Australian Bight Exploration Drilling Program

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Activity name
Great Australian Bight Exploration Drilling Program
Activity types
Submitted by
BP Developments Australia Pty Ltd
Submission date
Submission type
Decision date
Related documents

Location map (click to enlarge)
Progress bar
Final decision
EP summary published
Activity started
Activity stopped
End of operation of EP
Activity events
Event Event date Next event* Next event due* Related documents
Submission of new EP 02/10/2015 NOPSEMA decision 02/11/2015
Unable to make a decision within 30 days – complex assessment 07/10/2015 NOPSEMA decision 16/11/2015
Not reasonably satisfied – opportunity to modify EP 16/11/2015 Titleholder action 14/02/2016
Extension of timeframe 19/01/2016 Titleholder action 15/03/2016
Resubmission of EP 15/03/2016 NOPSEMA decision 14/04/2016 Not applicable
Unable to make a decision within 30 days – complex assessment 17/03/2016 NOPSEMA decision 16/05/2016
Not reasonably satisfied – opportunity to modify EP 16/05/2016 Titleholder action 15/07/2016 Decision notification (pdf 158 KB)
Extension of timeframe 12/07/2016 Titleholder action 31/08/2016 Not applicable
Extension of timeframe 19/08/2016 Titleholder action 31/12/2016 Not applicable
Withdrawal of EP 20/12/2016 Not applicable Not applicable

* The next event is based on NOPSEMA’s understanding and expectation of what may occur next in the assessment process. There are a number of other events that may occur, and events may happen sooner or later than expected. All events will be published in this table as and when they take place.

Activity description


BP Developments Australia Pty Ltd (BP) have requested an extension for the modification and resubmission of this environment plan until 31 December 2016. NOPSEMA has granted this extension.

BP have also submitted a new environment plan for two exploration wells within the Great Australian Bight. BP has advised NOPSEMA that these two exploration wells are a subset of the petroleum activity covered by this environment plan, and that therefore this environment plan will need to be amended to remove their scope prior to resubmission.

The new environment plan is titled the Great Australian Bight Exploration Drilling Program Stromlo-1 and Whinham-1 Environment Plan, details of which are available on its submission page.

Stakeholders who are interested in receiving updates about the Great Australian Bight Exploration Drilling Program are advised that the assessment of the first two wells will be covered by the new environment plan, and that they can subscribe for updates via the activity status page at the above link.



BP Developments Australia Pty Ltd (BP), in its capacity as operator of the proposed Great Australian Bight (GAB) Exploration Drilling Program proposes to drill four exploration wells in Commonwealth marine waters in the GAB.  Exact well locations are yet to be determined for all wells, however they will be drilled within a defined ‘drilling area’.  The drilling area is the previously acquired Ceduna 3D seismic survey area, which covers 12,100 km2 across Exploration Permit for Petroleum (EPP) EPP 37, EPP 38, EPP 39 and EPP 40. BP and Statoil are the registered titleholders of EPPs 37, 38, 39 and 40, with BP being the Operator.

The drilling area has water depths ranging between 1,000 and 2,500 m Lowest Astronomical Tide. At the closest point, the drilling area is located approximately 395 km west of Port Lincoln and 340 km southwest of Ceduna in South Australia (SA).

The project is scheduled to commence in the summer of 2016-2017, with each well taking between 45 and 170 days to drill.

The wells will be drilled using a dynamically positioned semi-submersible mobile offshore drilling unit (MODU).

The purpose of the drilling program is to determine whether the target formations have commercially recoverable volumes of hydrocarbons.

 A draft summary of the GAB Drilling Environment Plan and additional project details are available on BP’s project website 


South Australia
Commonwealth waters adjacent to
South Australia
Titles (or other instruments)
EPP37 Opens in new window , EPP38 Opens in new window , EPP39 Opens in new window , EPP40 Opens in new window

Rochelle Smith

Environment Manager

BP Developments Australia Pty Ltd

Level 8, QV1

250 St Georges Terrace

Perth WA 6000

Phone: +61 8 9420 1828