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All eyes were on this well at Australia’s first offshore Greenhouse Gas (GHG) storage site as part of the CarbonNet project. And many were on the performance of AGR, appointed to deliver this high profile potential CO2 storage well. Our Australian Well Management team were engaged by the Victoria government to manage drilling operations in addition to undertaking the Geophysical, 2D seismic and Geotechnical assessment, in preparation for the arrival of the Noble Tom Prosser Jack-up MODU.


The Pelican storage site is located in the Gippsland Basin approximately 8 km off the cost of Victoria.

The Challenge

A demanding project that would test the capability of the most experienced team

  • The storage site is located close to a holiday destination. This meant it required a comprehensive stakeholder management strategy
  • The 2019 Victoria bushfires were ongoing during the project, which heavily impacted logistics. Arrangements had to be made and specialist expertise brought in to minimise any impact on equipment and personnel
  • The well design needed to be flexible to satisfy both suspension and the plug and abandon constraints that apply to CO2 resistant cement
  • The coring program extended through multiple interbedded coaly formations. This had to be taken into account during planning and the use of specialised systems
  • A large thief zone not present at offset wells was encountered and section milling was required to place the cement needed for the well abandonment.
Ole-rygg Ole B. Rygg, PhD
Group Managing Director Wells at ABL Group
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The Client Benefits

Exceptional all round project delivery with every objective achieved, plus savings


All regulatory submissions were successfully handled in-house without delays to any of the geophysical and seismic, geotechnical or drilling campaigns.

Outstanding cost efficiency

All campaign activities were executed successfully and under budget – a great result for our client, who saved $A7m thanks to our performance.

Smooth logistics

A number of logistical challenges were overcome with no impact to the critical path of operations, even though equipment was mobilised from 13 different countries.

Appraisal targets met

Appraisal objectives were successfully met, with 89 meters of core taken, an extensive logging campaign completed and over 9,000 barrels of drill water injected. The well was drilled conventionally using a 30 x 13 3/8 x 9 5/8 x 7” well design to a total depth of 1,500m. Conventional cores were taken through the 8 1/2” hole section with wireline logs taken over both the 12 1/4” and 8 1/2” hole sections. The 7” liner was perforated to provide the conduit for injectivity testing.

Strong environmental outcome

Inevitably there was intense interest in the environmental impact of the site – the outcome could not have been better. The geophysical, geotechnical and drilling campaigns were delivered without harm to the environment and the stakeholder engagement strategy helped ensure all regulatory approvals were met comfortably.

The AGR solution

A highly responsive expert team with a range of specialist skills

We assembled a highly experienced, multi-disciplined team with expertise in niche areas to manage all aspects of the project. Our brief covered regulatory submissions, contracting, stakeholder engagement and engineering. This compact and focused team was designed for a streamlined operation, was flexible and able to respond quickly to meet the challenges ahead.

All contracts, with the exception of the rig, were negotiated, held and managed by AGR following a comprehensive tendering process audited by the Australian government.


The outcomes of the appraisal well can be read on the Victoria State CarbonNet project webpage.

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