Kipper drilling to begin in 12 months

Esso Australia, Melbourne, has contracted to begin development drilling on its Kipper gas-condensate field in Bass Strait early in 2010.

Rick Wilkinson
OGJ Correspondent

MELBOURNE, Mar. 3 -- Esso Australia, Melbourne, has contracted to begin development drilling on its Kipper gas-condensate field in Bass Strait early in 2010.

The company has secured the use of the Ocean Patriot semisubmersible under an agreement with Diamond Offshore and Apache Energy for some well slots in between its program for Apache in the region next year.

The Kipper drilling project could take 3-6 months.

The field lies 45 km offshore in 100 m of water. It has a confirmed resource of 620 bcf of gas and 30 million bbl barrels of condensate.

First gas production, which will be piped to shore via the West Tuna platform, is targeted for the first half of 2011. Output is expected to be around 75 terajoules/day with an estimated field life of 11 years.

Partners in the Kipper JV are Esso as operator with 32.5%, Santos 35%, and BHP Billiton with 32.5%.

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