Woodside takes another crack at Nganhurra shutdown environment plan

Australian energy player Woodside has resubmitted its environment plan (EP) to undertake petroleum activities at the Enfield offshore oil field to support cessation of production activities to the Australian authorities. 

Discovered in 1999, the Woodside-operated Enfield oil field is located in production license WA-28-L offshore Australia. The oil from the field is processed on the Nganhurra FPSO, which has been in production since 2006, and the processed stabilized crude oil is then offloaded to offtake tankers.

Looking to stop production from the Enfield field and remove the Nganhurra FPSO from the field, Woodside submitted the environment plan to the Australian offshore regulator, NOPSEMA, in August.

However, this plan was rejected by the regulator at the end of August, providing Woodside with an opportunity to modify and resubmit it. The deadline for re-submission was initially set for September 30 and later extended until Friday, October 13.

Explaining the reasons behind the rejection of the initial plan, NOPSEMA said the plan did not meet the criteria related to appropriateness for the nature and scale of the activity. The plan also did not meet the criteria when it comes to demonstration that the environmental impacts and risks of the activity would be reduced to as low as reasonably practicable.

Furthermore, the plan did not meet the criteria when it comes to showing that the environmental impacts and risks of the activity would be of an acceptable level and it did not provide for appropriate environmental performance outcomes, environmental performance standards and measurement criteria.

Now that the environment plan has been resubmitted, NOPSEMA will continue to asses it and then make a final decision on whether to accept or refuse it. The regulator is expected to make its decision by November 12, 2017.

As a reminder, Woodside is planning to flush the subsea and topside infrastructure prior to disconnecting the Nganhurra FPSO vessel from the field, remove the Riser Turret Mooring (RTM) from field and isolate and preserve subsea infrastructure in preparation for future decommissioning activities.

Activities anticipated to be undertaken as part of the EP include disconnection and sail away of the FPSO, preservation of the Nganhurra subsea systems until the wells are plugged and abandoned and subsea infrastructure is decommissioned; and removal of  the RTM from field following disconnection of risers, electro-hydraulic umbilical (EHU), removal of buoyancy modules and disconnection of mooring lines from RTM.

Offshore Energy Today Staff

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