Blackback Plugging and Abandonment

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Activity name
Blackback Plugging and Abandonment
Activity types
Any other petroleum-related activity
Submitted by
Esso Australia Resources Pty Ltd
Submission date
Submission type
Decision date
Related documents
EP Summary (pdf 8.7 MB)

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 27/08/2018 NOPSEMA decision 26/09/2018 Not applicable
Not reasonably satisfied – opportunity to modify EP 25/09/2018 Titleholder action 25/10/2018 Decision notification (pdf 9.5 MB)
Resubmission of EP 25/10/2018 NOPSEMA decision 24/11/2018 Not applicable
Acceptance of EP 20/11/2018 Titleholder action 30/11/2018 Decision notification (pdf 9.5 MB)
Submission of EP summary 30/11/2018 NOPSEMA decision 10/12/2018 Not applicable
Publication of EP summary 05/12/2018 Not applicable
Activity started 05/02/2019 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

The Blackback P&A Environment Plan covers the permanent plugging and abandonment (P&A) of the Blackback A-1A, Blackback A-2 and Blackback A-3 wells. The Blackback subsea facility is located approximately 90 km from shore at approximately 400m water depth in Production Area VIC/L20. The Blackback P&A campaign will utilise the Ocean Monarch MODU, which is already in Bass Strait, to P&A the three Blackback subsea wells. The three wells will be permanently abandoned by installation of cement plugs as barriers, followed by the retrieval of wellheads from the seafloor. This campaign will eliminate loss of containment risks associated with live hydrocarbon wells and will remove obstructions and snag points for commercial fishermen. The campaign is an ALARP action in its own right and should be considered in this context. P&A activities in the Blackback operational area are scheduled over an estimated 71 day period commencing in Q4 2018.

Commonwealth waters adjacent to
Titles (or other instruments)

Ms Carolyn Thomas

Offshore Risk, Environment and Regulatory Supervisor

Esso Australia Resources Pty Ltd

Level 9, 664 Collins Street


Telephone: +61 3 9261 0260



*Where an environment plan was submitted or accepted prior to 28 February 2014 certain information is not published, in accordance with the Environment Regulations in place at that time. For accepted EPs, refer to the attached EP Summary for additional information.