Esso commences tender for decommissioning

The Mackerel platform is one of several in the Bass Strait to be decommissioned. Photo: Contributed

The Gippsland Basin Joint Venture is set to decommission more of its offshore facilities, it has been confirmed.

Esso Australia has commenced a technical tender process for the decommissioning of a number of its facilities in Bass Strait.

The announcement was made public by Esso’s parent company, ExxonMobil Australia on Friday, June 17.

The company is requesting technical submissions from a number of experienced offshore heavy lift contractors for this initial tender phase, who must outline how they propose to undertake the platform removal activities required.

“Given the complexity of decommissioning offshore facilities, we expect each vendor will propose a unique approach to platform removal in Bass Strait, based on their capabilities and experience,” ExxonMobil Australia chair Dylan Pugh said.

“We will then consider all the options presented, ensuring they meet our own, community and regulator expectations, before moving onto the final commercial tender process next year.”

Esso Australia has already completed around $600 million of early decommissioning works in Bass Strait, including the removal of the Seahorse and Tarwhine facilities; plug and abandonment activities on their Blackback and Whiting wells; and progressing well-decommissioning activities on its Kingfish B and Mackerel fields.

“As the operator of some of Australia’s most mature oil and gas fields, Esso Australia is committed to safely and responsibly decommissioning our Bass Strait offshore facilities,” Mr Pugh said.

“As we continue to progress these important early decommissioning works, this technical tender is an important step in preparing for the eventual decommissioning of a number of our facilities that are to cease production in the near future.”

The decommissioning process will begin once contracts are awarded next year, while a completion date is yet to be confirmed.

When asked about a completion date by the Gippsland Times, a spokesperson for ExxonMobil said: “Decommissioning of offshore facilities is a complex activity that can start up to 10 years prior to execution.”