Wood to oversee first decom phase of Timor Sea FPSO

UK oilfield services provider Wood Plc has been contracted by the Australian government to supervise the first decommissioning phase of a floating production, storage and offtake (FPSO) vessel located in the Timor Sea off Australia.

Wood revealed on Tuesday that it has been awarded the role of owner’s team by the Australian government, with responsibility for overseeing the first decommissioning phase of the FPSO Northern Endeavour in the Timor Sea.

Ralph Ellis, Wood’s President of Operations across the Asia Pacific region, remarked: “The responsible decommissioning of the Northern Endeavour FPSO is of great national interest, with safety, cost, and sustainability in sharp focus throughout. We are proud to have been selected by the Australian government to represent their interests in the first phase of the field’s decommissioning journey.”

The oilfield services provider explained that it will work closely with the Department of Industry, Science, Energy & Resources (DISER) and contractors on behalf of the Australian government to ensure the “safe, efficient, and responsible” initial phase of this critical decommissioning scope.

Wood to oversee first decom phase of Timor Sea FPSO
FPSO Northern Endeavour; Source: Australian Government Department of Industry, Science, Energy and Resources

“As owner’s team, we will leverage our unrivalled offshore decommissioning expertise garnered in mature basins across the world to support the successful delivery of this critical scope of work. We look forward to working closely with both DISER and the lead contractor on this important project,” added Ellis.

According to Wood, this is the first time the government has selected a partner in this type of contract and will be “key to building momentum” in the country’s growing decommissioning market.

Back in April 2022, Petrofac disclosed that it was hired as an outsourced operator to complete the decommissioning of Phase 1 for the FPSO Northern Endeavour through a deal estimated at AUD$325 million or $236 million

At the time, Petrofac advised that it would start a managed transition of operational control from the existing operator, Upstream Production Solutions, who was contracted in May 2020 to provide operations and maintenance services for this FPSO.

Based on the information from DISR, the decommissioning and remediation are anticipated to take several years and involve three phases. In lieu of this, Phase 1 entails decommissioning and disconnecting the FPSO Northern Endeavour from the subsea equipment.

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.

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Permanently moored between the Laminaria and Corallina oilfields – approximately 550 km northwest of Darwin in the Timor Sea – the FPSO Northern Endeavour is 274 metres long. The production from this FPSO started in 1999 and peaked at 170,000 barrels of oil per day.