The Australian Petroleum Production & Exploration Association's 2008 Environment Award, sponsored by PricewaterhouseCoopers and awarded at 2009 APPEA Conference in Darwin, was won by Woodside for its pioneering research into the effects of offshore drilling activity on the marine environment at Scott Reef, 430km north of Broome.
Appraisal drilling on the Torosa-6 well at Scott Reef left a very small footprint, restricted to just the small legs of the jackup rig, through the innovative use of AGR Drilling Service's Riserless Mud Recovery system (RMR) to recover all cuttings from the well. This was the first environmental application for the RMR in the Australian market.
This research has demonstrated that the effects of oil and gas appraisal activity on the surrounding environment, even in sensitive areas, are much lower with quicker recovery rates than previously thought.
APPEA chief executive Belinda Robinson said that Woodside's extensive environmental research and monitoring before, during and after its Browse Joint Ventures showed oil and gas activities can continue without detriment to the environment.
Tom Hasler, Executive Vice President at AGR Drilling, commented, "This is an important example of how AGR's innovative RMR system can be used by Operators to minimize the environmental impact of offshore drilling."
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