On 7 February, the Australian Government was advised that the future of the Northern Endeavour was under threat as a result of Northern Oil and Gas Australia (NOGA) group of companies being placed into liquidation.
Minister for Resources, Water and Northern Australia Keith Pitt said it was an unprecedented event in the offshore oil and gas industry in Australia.
“It is regrettable that a commercial solution could not be found to prevent NOGA entering liquidation,” Minister Pitt said.
On 17 February, the Government announced it had signed a new agreement with Upstream Production Solutions (UPS), to operate and maintain the vessel.
Minister for Resources, Water and Northern Australia Keith Pitt said the Northern Endeavour was in reliable hands.
“UPS has safely re-boarded the Northern Endeavour and reports that the facility is safe and secure,” Minister Pitt said.
“It was essential that we re-crewed the Northern Endeavour quickly, to maintain the safety of the vessel and the surrounding Timor Sea environment, and that has been done.
UPS will operate the vessel in lighthouse mode, the minimum required for safe operations, with no production and a small crew until a longer-term solution is determined.
“The Australian Government will now start consultations with industry experts to consider a longer-term resolution to the situation,” Minister Pitt said.
“The liquidation of the Northern Oil and Gas Australia (NOGA) group of companies highlights the importance to the nation of our oil and gas industries which are a valuable source of exports and vital for our energy security. We must maintain our strong reputation for environmental protections and safe operations.”
The Northern Endeavour floating production storage and offtake (FPSO) vessel is permanently moored between the Laminaria and Corallina oil fields in the Timor Sea. Crude oil, gas and water from the reservoir are separated on board the FPSO. Oil is stored on the facility in six pairs of tanks, prior to export to trading tankers. The Northern Endeavour is designed to store 1.4 million barrels of oil and process approximately 170,000 barrels of oil per day (bopd).