Cooper hires Solstad Farstad anchor handlers for rig tow

Australian energy company Cooper Energy has hired Norway’s offshore vessel provider Solstad Farstad to support its drilling operations within the Bass Strait region of Australia.

Namely, the Australian company has awarded a contract to Solstad Farstad for two anchor handling tug and supply vessels, the Far Statesman and Far Senator, to tow the Ocean Monarch semi-submersible drilling rig from the North West Shelf of Australia to the Bass Strait.

Both vessels are of a UT 731 CD design built in 2013. The vessels will then continue with rig support duties for a firm period of 120 days, and two lots of 60-day optional periods.

The tow of the Ocean Monarch is anticipated to start in late December 2017 or early January 2018. The commercial terms were left confidential between the parties.

Solstad Farstad noted that this contract with Cooper Energy is the first time that the two companies have done business together and it provides the vessel owner with an opportunity to start building a relationship with a new client.

When it comes to Cooper Energy’s operations in Australia, the company is currently deciding on debt financing for its operated Sole gas project in the Bass Strait region off Australia. The project will develop the Sole gas field located in VIC/ L32 in the Gippsland Basin to supply 25 PJ per year to gas users in south-east Australia.

The Sole project was sanctioned in late March after which Cooper awarded a subsea contract to Subsea 7 and the rig contract to the Diamond Offshore-owned semi-submersible drilling rig, the Ocean Monarch. The rig is scheduled to start the contract in March 2018 and run until late June of the same year.

First gas from the Sole gas project is planned to be delivered to the Orbost Gas Plant in the March quarter of 2019.

Offshore Energy Today Staff

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