The Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment (MBIE) has entered into an agreement with Helix Offshore Services Limited for the plugging and abandonment of the wells in the Tui Oil Field (Phase 3 of the Tui decommissioning).
The company is a subsidiary of New York Stock Exchange-listed Helix Energy Solutions Group which is headquartered in Houston, Texas with regional offices in the United Kingdom, Brazil, Singapore and Perth.
“Helix was awarded the contract after a competitive procurement process to select a supplier that met MBIE’s objectives of a robust technical solution, flexibility in timing, competitive pricing and a commitment to working with iwi and local stakeholders,” said MBIE Tui Project director Lloyd Williams.
“Helix is widely recognised internationally as one of the largest and most capable contractors for well intervention and abandonment, and we are looking forward to working with them to complete the final phase of the decommissioning."
“Helix’s proposed vessel to carry out the work, the Q7000, is a state-of-the-art unit which is optimised for well decommissioning and features specialised equipment required to complete the work safely and efficiently,” said Williams.
Wharehoka Wano, CEO of Te Kahui o Taranaki Trust said: “We are very pleased the project has secured a highly competent contractor for Phase 3. This gives us every confidence as Taranaki Iwi and the hapu of Ngati Kahumate, Ngati Tara, Ngati Haupoto and Ngati Tuhekerangi as kaitiaki, to fulfil and maintain our responsibility and obligation of ensuring the mouri of our environment and cultural resources are protected and enhanced for future generations.”
MBIE and Te Kahui o Taranaki Trust have formed a partnership for the Tui Project to ensure iwi interests and concerns are recognised and accounted for.
MBIE has submitted an application for marine consents with the Environmental Protection Authority (EPA) for the removal of the subsea infrastructure and the plugging and abandoning of the Tui wells. An independent board of inquiry is considering MBIE’s application.
Subject to EPA granting the marine consents, it is anticipated the plugging and abandonment work will be carried out from late 2022.
The first phase of the decommissioning of the Tui Oil Field, the disconnection and demobilisation of the FPSO Umuroa, was completed in May 2021. In October 2021 the contract for the second phase of the decommissioning process, the removal of the subsea infrastructure, was awarded to Perth-based Shelf Subsea Services Pte Limited. It is anticipated this phase of the work will be carried out in the summer of 2021/22 or alternatively in the summer of 2022/23.
MBIE, on behalf of the Crown, is responsible for the decommissioning of the Tui Oil Field after the liquidation and receivership of Tamarind Taranaki Limited. The Crown is committed to ensuring the field is decommissioned safely in accordance with the law and good industry practice.
A dedicated Tui Project team, within MBIE’s Energy and Resource Markets branch, is planning the decommissioning of the Tui Oil Field.