This month has seen Eni Australia forced to commit to full decommissioning of the Woollybutt offshore oil field by NOPSEMA, after being issued one of the seven directions of compliance to adhere to the OPGGS Act.
The Woollybutt oil field, located near the northwest of Western Australia ceased production ten years ago. Since then, Eni has failed to maintain this project’s infrastructure, which has continued to deteriorate.
Lack of maintenance by Eni recently made headlines when twenty metres of wellhead framing that had been chained to the seabed floated to the ocean surface and was found outside of the project’s location.
Even after this disastrous incident, Eni requested to abandon the Woollybutt field’s remaining equipment including control umbilicals, flowlines, and jumpers. NOPSEMA has refused Eni’s request and has called for all the deteriorating property to be decommissioned and removed.
Work is due to commence this year and is expected to take 2 to 3 months and the union will keep a close eye on who is tendering for this contract.
As the scale of decommissioning work is set to rise, the MUA will continue to monitor NOPSEMA’s response to industry.