Oil and Gas News

Cooper unites with Helix for Victorian decommissioning

Cooper Energy and Helix Energy Solutions are working together on subsea decommissioning solutions using the purpose-built Q7000 vessel, which has the stability of a compact semi-sub and the speed of a monohull.

Helix senior VP international Dave Carr said Australia was ranked as the world’s highest performing country for oil and gas exploration in a study by Accenture and the National Energy Resources Australia (NERA), but just 29th in the discipline of decommissioning.

Carr added that the company would be returning to the Australian market after eight years and bringing the Q7000 with it. Cooper Energy has selected Helix as its technical partners for a decommissioning project offshore Victoria.

“The two companies have recently agreed on a contract in which the mobilisation fee for the vessel can be shared amongst the industry,” Carr said during a webinar.

“Cooper Energy have a unique company culture which is based on a set of core values. The first is care and Cooper has prioritised the environment and have been accountable for its actions and this has driven the project from the start.”

The Q7000 is designed as a global vessel, with capabilities to work in a wide range of environments, from ultra deep water to relatively shallow water.

It is also designed to work in the harshest environments, like the Bass Strait in Australia and features a unique intervention tension frame designed to improve safety and operational efficiencies, as well as a rise less open water abandonment module (ROAM).

Combining all of these elements onto the Q7000 vessel results in an extremely flexible work platform.

Carr highlighted that when the vessel arrives in Australia, the biggest issues the company would face during decommissioning include: location and status of wells; finding the experience and expertise; and COVID-19.

“Operating companies are looking to technical companies like Helix to provide engineering support following the downturn in the industry because of COVID-19. The learning curve we have gone through in the last six months puts us in a very good position with this new normal,” he said.

“We do massive amounts of testings, and have had to work out ways to deal with live or suspected cases on any of our vessels.”