Xodus wins major decommissioning gig offshore Australia

Global energy consultancy Xodus has won a contract to provide technical and project support services for Phase 1 of the decommissioning of the Northern Endeavour floating production storage and offloading vessel, that is stranded offshore Australia.

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

Xodus will work on behalf of the Australian government, providing advice on project coordination, regulatory and environment, health and safety, technical, quality assurance and contract management as part of the agreement. The value of this contract was not disclosed.

“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.

“We are pleased to provide the necessary support to ensure that the decommissioning strategy is robust and ultimately compliant with regulatory expectations.”

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Petrofac is acting as lead contractor for Phase 1 of the decommissioning of the Northern Endeavour under a A$413 million (US$278 million) contract that runs to end-2025.

The government has maintained the Northern Endeavour and associated subsea facilities since February 2020 after the vessel’s owner, Northern Oil & Gas Australia (NOGA), was placed in liquidation. The floater had stopped producing the previous year.

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.

A temporary levy on oil production offshore Australia is recovering the full costs of decommissioning and remediating the Laminaria and Corallina oilfields.

An Australian government spokesperson said: “We are pleased that Xodus has officially joined as our assurance team for Phase 1 of the Northern Endeavour decommissioning project. This marks a significant step forward in our role in managing the environmentally responsible and safe closure of the Northern Endeavour FPSO, permanent plugging and abandonment, and remediation of associated fields.

“We value Xodus’ forthcoming contributions and look forward to a collaborative and productive partnership.”

The host government recently invited proposals from contractors for the next two phases of the Northern Endeavour FPSO decommissioning project.

Phase two is to permanently plug and abandon the wells while phase three encompasses the removal of subsea infrastructure and remediating the oilfields.

The government’s expected timeframe for delivery for these two phases is from October 2024 to December 2028.