The Federal Government has established the Northern Endeavour Temporary Operations Program to ensure the continued safety and security of the Northern Endeavour floating production storage and offtake (FPSO) vessel following liquidation of the Northern Oil and Gas Australia (NOGA) group of companies.
Minister for Resources, Water and Northern Australia, Keith Pitt, said it was the first time the Australian Government had been required to take this sort of action, with the liquidation of a company involved in offshore production being an unprecedented event in the offshore oil and gas industry in Australia.
“I have now established the Northern Endeavour Temporary Operations Program. This program will provide funding to support the operation and maintenance of the Northern Endeavour,” Mr Pitt said.
“It is essential that we ensure the protection of the environment around the Laminaria-Corallina project in the Timor Sea and maintain the world-recognised reputation of our oil and gas industry, as well as the effectiveness of our independent regulators.”
Mr Pitt said the department is in active negotiations with qualified companies with a view to engaging an experienced, reliable operator with the necessary support services as of 14 February.
“This event is a wake-up call to the Australian oil and gas industry. Australia requires new oil and gas discoveries to meet our export commitments, to deliver energy security and safeguard Australian jobs and Australian industries,” Mr Pitt said.
“It is vital that Australia’s oil and gas sector’s strong reputation for environmental safety and security is maintained.”
The Northern Endeavour Temporary Operations Program, operating under the Industry Research and Development Act 1986, is part of the government’s commitment to ensure safe operations at the Northern Endeavour.
The Northern Endeavour is permanently moored between the Laminaria and Corallina oil fields in the Timor Sea.
The supported activities of the program will include maintaining the facility in ‘lighthouse mode’ (no production, with minimum crew required for safe operations), securing the facility and associated wells for the Laminaria-Corallina field, and undertaking the required operational activities.