Cooper hires Helix rig for Gippsland decom campaign

Australia’s Cooper Energy has hired the Helix Energy Solutions-owned Q7000 light well intervention rig for a decommissioning campaign at the Basker, Manta, and Gummy (BMG) fields located offshore Australia.

Helix Energy Solutions' Q7000; Source: Sembcorp Marine
Helix Energy Solutions' Q7000 will work for Cooper Energy
Helix Energy Solutions’ Q7000; Source: Sembcorp Marine

The Basker, Manta, and Gummy (BMG) project is located about 52 km south of Cape Conran and lies in water depths of 135 m to 265 m.

The BMG abandonment project involves decommissioning of seven wells and associated subsea infrastructure (pipelines and control umbilicals) in the BMG fields in the Gippsland Basin.

The BMG permits contain the proven Manta gas field and the Manta Deep prospect.

In its quarterly report on Monday, Cooper Energy said it has recently contracted, subject to a Final Investment Decision (FID), the Helix Q7000 light well intervention rig.

The rig, delivered in 2019 by Sembcorp Marine, is specifically designed and built for intervention on subsea wells and abandonment activities.

Equipped with an IMO-certified Class 3 Dynamic Positioning System and the Helix-designed Intervention Riser System, the Q7000 is able to execute well intervention and decommissioning operations in water depths ranging from 85m to 3,000m.

According to Cooper, the Helix Q7000 Safety Case, a key permission document, has been submitted to the regulator NOPSEMA and is currently under review.

The plan is that other regulatory documentation, including the Environment Plan and Well Operation Management Plan, will be submitted in the fourth quarter of FY21.

The BMG abandonment project is currently in the Front End Engineering Design (FEED) stage, with activities focused on selecting optimal methodologies and technologies for safe and cost-effective delivery of the decommissioning objectives.

Details of the scope of works, the timing of execution and cost estimates will be announced at FID, which is being considered in FY22.