UK consultancy takes on work related to FPSO decommissioning in Timor Sea

Energy consultancy Xodus has secured a contract to provide technical and project support services for the decommissioning of a floating production storage and offtake facility (FPSO) located in the Timor Sea off Australia.

Northern Endeavour; Source: Australian Government Department of Industry, Science, Energy and Resources

Xodus will be working on behalf of the Australian Government, providing advice on project coordination, regulatory and environment, health and safety, technical, quality assurance, and contract management for Phase 1 of the decommissioning of the Northern Endeavour FPSO.

This phase of decommissioning covers activities to facilitate the disconnection and removal of the FPSO including topsides and subsea flushing and well suspension.

Afterwards, Phase 2 will cover the permanent plugging and well abandonment while Phase 3 requires the removal of subsea infrastructure and remediation of the Laminaria and Corallina fields.

“We have a highly experienced local team with several of our colleagues having extensive experience of the Northern Endeavor either from the early design and installation phase of the project or during production operations. This means that whilst being able to bring a fresh approach, the facility is already familiar to much of the team,” said Alasdair Gray, Late Life and Decommissioning Lead at Xodus.

“We understand environmental sensitivities and the impact these can have on any proposed activity or execution plan. Expert technical advice and careful planning will be critical to the successful decommissioning of the offshore field in a safe and responsible manner.”

The 274-meter-long Northern Endeavour, permanently moored between the Laminaria and Corallina oil fields, stopped producing oil in 2019.

Petrofac was contracted in April 2022 as an outsourced operator to complete the first phase of the decommissioning of Northern Endeavour by the Australian Government’s Department of Industry, Science and Resources (DISR) – a deal estimated at $236 million.

The oilfield services provider officially took over the operatorship of the FPSO in October.

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In non-production mode, the now redundant production system comprises a network of subsea wells tied back to the permanently moored vessel unit through a system of subsea manifolds, flowlines, umbilicals, and dynamic risers. Produced oil was stored onboard the vessel and unloaded via offtake tankers using a tandem mooring system.

The decommissioning follows the liquidation of the owner of the Northern Endeavour, the Northern Oil and Gas Australia (NOGA) group of companies, in 2020. A temporary levy on offshore oil production is recovering the full costs of decommissioning and remediating the Laminaria and Corallina oil fields.