Open for comment: EQUINOR Stromlo-1 exploration drilling program draft environment plan

As Australia's independent regulator of environmental management for all offshore petroleum activities in Commonwealth waters, NOPSEMA has agreed to facilitate a voluntary public comment process for the Stromlo-1 exploration drilling program draft environment plan on behalf of the proposed activity's titleholder, Equinor. Public comment opens on 19 February 2019 and closes on 20 March 2019. For more information see the news and media page.

This public comment process is in addition to the existing environment plan assessment process, and is being provided in response to heightened community interest in offshore petroleum activities in the Great Australian Bight. It is intended that the information on these pages assists the community in being better informed about the proposed activity, and provides an avenue for stakeholders to direct their comments directly to NOPSEMA.

The date of a formal submission of an environment plan by Equinor to NOPSEMA for assessment is a matter for Equinor to determine and is not set by NOPSEMA.

Please be aware that in order to collect meaningful feedback from the community in this process, you will be asked to provide your name and email address, and your comments will be provided to Equinor so that they can respond or modify their plans for environmental management of the activity. 

Activity name: Stromlo-1 Exploration Drilling Program

Status: Open for public comment

Draft environment plan: To access the proposal visit: (external link)


Activity description

Equinor is the sole titleholder of exploration permit EPP39 located in the Ceduna sub-basin, off southern Australia (Figure 1). 

As part of the work program as set out in the exploration permit, Equinor plans to drill the Stromlo-1 exploration well in late 2019. The well will be drilled using a semi-submersible Mobile Offshore Drilling Unit (MODU). The duration of the drilling is approximately 60 days. For contingency planning including delay, the activity period is between 1 October and 31 May for the five year term of the environment plan.

The program will be supported by three vessels and helicopters. The support vessels will resupply the MODU from the supply base at Port Adelaide. The helicopter base will be at the Ceduna airport. 

Once the well has been drilled, it will be permanently plugged and decommissioned. The results will be evaluated and then Equinor will determine whether to proceed with appraisal or further exploration.

Figure 1: Location map

Location map - Equinor - Stromlo-1 Exploration Drilling Program

Click on the map for a larger size image.

Next steps

The environment plan will be open for public comment for 30 days and closes on 20 March 2019. Any public comments received during this time will be reviewed by NOPSEMA and forwarded to Equinor. As the titleholder, Equinor is required to consider the information provided in the public comments, make any necessary changes to their environment plan, and document in a report how the comments have been taken into account. The environment plan and report will then be submitted to NOPSEMA for assessment. 


Any enquiries regarding the public comment process should be provided to