Norwegian energy firm Equinor says it is halting exploration drilling in the Great Australian Bight offshore southern Australia.
The move comes after a review by Equinor that determined its existing drilling plan is not “commercially competitive” compared with other activities in the company’s portfolio.
“The approval of the Stromlo-1 exploration well Environment Plan confirmed our ability to safely operate in the Bight. However, Equinor has decided to discontinue its plans to drill the Stromlo-1 exploration well, as the opportunity is not commercially competitive,” said Jone Stangeland, Equinor’s country manager for Australia.
Equinor became operator and 100% owner of exploration permits EPP39 and EPP40 in June 2017, covering approximately 12,000 square kilometers in the Ceduna sub-basin. The company originally planned to drill one exploration well, called Stromlo-1, located approximately 476 km west of Port Lincoln.
Australian authorities approved Equinor’s required Environment Plan for exploring the Bight in December 2019.
“We will engage with the federal and state authorities regarding our decision to discontinue the exploration programme. We hold an exploration permit offshore Western Australia and will maintain other ongoing interests and activities in Australia,” Stangeland said.