Semi-submersible drilling rig Ocean Apex has been handed over to BP for drilling the Ironbark-1 exploration well in exploration permit WA-359-P offshore Australia.

BP is the operator of the WA-359-P joint venture with a 42.5% stake. Cue Energy (21.5%), Beach Energy (21%), and New Zealand Oil & Gas (15%) hold the remaining interests.

Exploration permit WA-359-P is located in the Carnarvon Basin approximately 50km from the North West Shelf LNG infrastructure.

According to Cue Energy, the rig is now being mobilised to the Ironbark-1 well site.

The standard rig inspection and acceptance procedures are being undertaken by operator BP.

Cue Energy noted that the mobilisation activities would take approximately ten days.

In a press statement, Cue Energy said: “The Ironbark-1 well is expected to drill to approximately 5,500m and will be the first test of the world-class Ironbark gas prospect.”

Back in June 2019, Cue Exploration formed a joint venture with partner companies to test the Ironbark prospect.

In October 2018, Cue Energy Resources’ subsidiary Cue Exploration signed an agreement with BP Developments, Beach Energy and New Zealand Oil & Gas (NZOG) to form a joint venture and undertake drilling operations at the Ironbark-1 exploration well.