ConocoPhillips, Karoon Gas Resume Drilling Boreas-1 After Solving Rig Woes

Australia's Karoon Gas said Friday that Transocean has finally completed repair works on a blowout preventer after more than two months, and that the contracted semisubmersible rig – Transocean Legend (mid-water semisub)– can resume drilling in the Greater Poseidon area in the Browse Basin offshore Western Australia.

Drilling at the Boreas-1 well – the first of a minimum five exploration wells that Karoon Gas is planning to drill in the Greater Poseidon area – will start on Friday. Oil major ConocoPhillips is Karoon Gas's partner and the operator of the Browse Basin exploration project. 

All of the five exploration wells will be drilled by the Transocean Legend.

"Transocean has had a lot of trouble repairing the blowout preventer. It has taken the company a long time to secure the parts needed to complete repair works," a spokesperson representing Karoon Gas told Rigzone.

The spokesperson added that while Karoon Gas was frustrated with the drilling progress of Boreas-1, it has chosen to stay on with Transocean as there is an acute shortage of drilling rigs at present.

"There are no other drilling rigs in the region available for contract over the next six months," the spokesperson said.

The five wells that the JV have scheduled for drilling lie in the WA-314-P, WA-315-P and WA-398-P Browse Basin permits containing the previously announced Poseidon and Kronos gas discoveries. Karoon Gas holds a 40 percent stake in WA-315-P and WA-398-P, and a 90 percent stake in WA-314-P. ConocoPhillips holds the remaining stakes in the three permits.

The three permits are around 217 miles (350 kilometers) offshore from the northwestern Australian coast and cover a combined area of 3,022 square miles (7,828 square kilometers), Karoon Gas's quarterly report published in June stated. 

"The Browse Basin drilling campaign is expected to continue for a period of up to two years. The program is designed to define more precisely the size and quality of the contingent gas resource base," Karoon Gas said in its June quarterly report. 



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