Cooper Energy has closed the drilling campaign early at the Annie-1 exploration well in the offshore Otway Basin following issues with the drilling rig.

The company said two of the Diamond Offshore Ocean Monarch drilling rig’s eight mooring chains have failed and it may take more than a month to analyse the root cause of the failure.

Cooper Energy is now inspecting the remaining six chains in order to restart final abandonment operations subject to weather conditions. Abandonment of Annie-1 is anticipated to be completed within the next week.

Following the rig’s failure, the company has proposed to defer the drilling of the Elanora-1 well that was due to follow Annie-1. Cooper Energy is now planning to consider drilling of Elanora-1 will in the context of future campaigns.

Cooper Energy managing director David Maxwell said: “While we are closing the drilling campaign early after the completion of one well, we are pleased with its outcome. The discovery of the Annie gas field has added to our portfolio of development opportunities which can add to our reserves and production growth. Elanora remains as an exploration target to test in the future.”

Earlier in September 2019, Cooper had found gas 9km offshore Victoria, Australia, which the company claimed was the first new Otway Basin gas field discovery from offshore drilling in 11 years. Cooper Energy generates revenue from the discovery, commercialisation and sale of gas to south-east Australia and low cost Cooper Basin oil production.

The Sole gas field in the Gippsland Basin, is currently being developed to offer a new source of gas supply for south-east Australia from 2019.