Minister for Resources, Water and Northern Australia, Keith Pitt, has announced that experienced and respected operator Upstream Production Solutions (UPS) will continue to operate the Northern Endeavour floating production storage and offtake facility, moored in the Timor Sea, in ‘lighthouse mode’.
The Government has been taking this necessary safety action since liquidation of the Northern Oil and Gas Australia (NOGA) group of companies in February.
“A small crew from UPS will remain on board to support the facility and undertake critical maintenance, noting that no petroleum production can occur in lighthouse mode,” Minister Pitt said.
“This is essential to ensure the security of the vessel and protect the surrounding marine environment.”
With the safety of the Northern Endeavour secured, Minister Pitt said the Government was working on a longer-term solution, including measures to ensure this situation never happens again.
“We are working closely with industry to undertake the necessary planning for detailed possible solutions such as decommissioning, including costings, scheduling and safety and environmental management documentation,” Minister Pitt said.
“Further updates will be provided as this work progresses.”
Minister Pitt has appointed Steve Walker, a prominent expert with almost 40 years of offshore regulation and industry experience, to conduct a review into the circumstances that led to this situation.
“The review will consider how and why this situation arose, consider the roles and responsibilities of key stakeholders, and provide advice to the Government on possible areas for reform of the offshore oil and gas regulatory regime.
“Mr Walker is consulting with industry and key stakeholders and will provide his report to me by the end of May 2020.”