Helix vessel at port getting ready for Tui decommissioning activities

Helix Energy Solutions’ semi-submersible vessel Q7000 has arrived at Port Taranaki in New Zealand to commence the third phase of a field decommissioning project.

Source: Helix Energy Solutions

Q7000, which arrived at the port on 16 May, will plug and abandon the wells across the Tui field as part of Phase 3 of decommissioning activities. This is expected to take around three months to complete.

The vessel will be in port for around a week to carry out a crew exchange and to load supplies for the campaign. Once this is done, the 2019-built well intervention vessel will head to the field.

Following Phase 3, the Tui project is set to focus on removing the four mid-water arches, which is a residual task from Phase 2. This will be the final step in the decommissioning project.

Helix Energy Solutions secured a contract at the end of 2021 for well abandonment, recovery of subsea trees and wellhead severance and recovery, as part of the project’s third phase.

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To remind, back in December 2019, Tamarind went into insolvency without any funding secured for the FPSO Umoroa and Tui oil field decommissioning and abandonment liabilities, leaving the vessel stranded on the field. As a result, the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment (MBIE) became responsible for the decommissioning of the Tui oil field, after the liquidation and receivership of Tamarind Taranaki.

The demobilization phase of the field decommissioning was almost complete in May 2021 after the disconnection of the FPSO Umoroa, which worked on the field from 2007 until Tamarind terminated the contract in October 2019.

As explained at the time, the last of the nine anchor chains of the FPSO were disconnected and the vessel was able to depart the field and New Zealand waters. The next phase of decommissioning was targeted to start in the summer of 2021/22.