Great Australian Bight

Chevron’s Exploration Activities

Great Australian Bight

The Great Australian Bight (GAB), located approximately 300 kilometres west of Port Lincoln off the southern Australian coast, represents one of Australia’s most prospective frontier hydrocarbon exploration regions.

In October 2013, Chevron Australia acquired two deepwater exploration permits located in the GAB’s Commonwealth marine waters.

Great Australian Bight Exploration Map - click to enlarge

The exploration permits, EPP44 and EPP45, span more than 32,000 square kilometres (eight million acres) and nearly doubles Chevron’s offshore acreage holding in Australia. As operator with 100 percent interest, Chevron’s work program includes marine seismic surveys, geological studies and two exploration wells in each permit.

The Science Behind the Exploration

Chevron participated in a two-stage multi-client seismic survey of the GAB involving more than 22,000 km2 of 3D seismic data. The survey was completed safely, and represented the largest seismic survey undertaken in Australasia and Chevron globally to-date.

Sanco Sword – the vessel used to conduct the 22,000 km2 seismic survey in the Great Australian Bight.

Data processing is underway using advanced technology to help determine the potential drilling program which will include drilling locations as well as rig selection.

This processing work will take several teams across the globe a year to complete. 

Environmental Stewardship 

Chevron strives for world’s best practice in environmental management and stewardship. In many areas, Chevron has elected to go above and beyond industry standards when setting its own policies and practices for well integrity and well control. Our philosophy is we do it safely, or not at all. 

All petroleum activities associated with Chevron’s exploration in the GAB are subject to an Environment Plan approved by the National Offshore Petroleum Safety and Environmental Management Authority (NOPSEMA) in accordance with the Offshore Petroleum and Greenhouse Gas Storage (Environment) Regulations 2009. Chevron and its contractors will work closely with government regulators to ensure proposed work in the GAB is completed under the appropriate environmental conditions. Chevron will also apply world-class technology to operate in accordance with environmental best practice. 

Economic Benefits

Chevron is committed to building strong partnerships with the community where it operates. As with any Chevron project, there will be local opportunities relating to proposed activities in the GAB. Information on these opportunities and community project funding will be uploaded to as it becomes available. 

Project Connect has additional information regarding supplier opportunities at Chevron Australia.

Great Australian Bight Deepwater Marine Program

In partnership with Chevron Australia, the Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation (CSIRO) conducted an integrated field research program targeting unexplored deepwater regions in the GAB.

Viewing the seafloor through a deep tow camera.

Viewing the seafloor through a deep tow camera, one of the tools used during the 27-day marine program.

This multimillion dollar program aims to help build an enhanced baseline picture of the seafloor geology and benthic ecology to better understand the southern continental margin.

The program’s objectives include: 

  • Increasing the knowledge of the sedimentary evolution of the Bight Basin
  • Seafloor characterisation of the seamounts, canyons and hydrocarbon seep 
  • Environmental and biological assessment of the benthic biota 

The program is a collaborative effort with key academic and government research agencies. Research findings will be made public for the benefit of Australia, including government, academic institutions, community and environmental groups.

More information about the GAB Deepwater Marine Program is available on the CSIRO website.

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