BPH Energy’s (ASX: BPH) investee company Advent Energy is getting one step closer to drilling a well at the Baleen-1 gas prospect off the coast of New South Wales with the award of a contract to prepare its environmental plan for submission to the national offshore energy regulator.
After assessing proposals for environmental approvals for Baleen-1, Advent today announced it has appointed Aberdeen-based consultancy Xodus Group under a lump sum contract to prepare the plan.
It will be the first submission of the plan to the National Offshore Petroleum Safety and Environmental Management Authority (NOPSEMA), Australia’s offshore energy regulatory body.
Existing relationship with Xodus Group
In February, Xodus was commissioned to undertake a preliminary environmental screening assessment of the proposed Baleen well in preparation for drilling in the Offshore Sydney Basin licence PEP 11.
Xodus was engaged by Norwegian drilling group Add Energy, which had inked a preliminary well services deal with Advent for the drilling of the well.
The preliminary screening report was received in April and outlined what was required to complete an environmental impact assessment to support the well’s required approvals. It also includes a revised specification of the proposed well after Advent decided to undertake deeper drilling.
In today’s announcement, BPH said Xodus was appointed due to its high quality of engagement, willingness to provide a staged lump sum proposal and recent experience by its principal consultant in working for NOPSEMA.
“Xodus Group are a leading global energy environmental consultancy with a strong track record in the Australian offshore sector, where they are subject matter experts in environmental impact assessment and regulatory approvals,” the company stated.
Geoscience Australia reports confirm gas potential
Today’s news follows a review of Geoscience Australia reports released by BPH last week that reveals geophysical indications of gas at PEP 11.
One of the reports confirmed natural gas features in the Offshore Sydney Basin and identified a series of “large pockmarks”, while a review of well data showed 79% of the wells drilled into positive geochemical anomalies resulted in commercial hydrocarbon discoveries.
PEP 11 ownership
BPH holds a 33% stake in unlisted oil and gas explorer Advent which, in turn, owns an 85% interest in the 4,649sq km PEP 11 offshore licence.
Advent’s joint venture partner Bounty Oil and Gas (ASX: BUY) holds the remaining 15% stake in PEP 11.
The partners have previously confirmed all gas sourced from the permit will flow into Australia’s east coast market.
The revised proposal to undertake deeper drilling at Baleen-1 is expected to evaluate the potential for carbon sequestration, also known as carbon capture and storage.