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Decommissioning the Northern Endeavour

The Australian Government has committed to decommission the Northern Endeavour floating production storage and offtake (FPSO) facility. The government will also remediate the associated Laminaria-Corallina oil fields.

Decommissioning the facility will include rehabilitation of, and the removal of risks to, the surrounding marine environment.

Decommissioning the Northern Endeavour and remediating the Laminaria-Corallina oil fields will take several years. It will be undertaken in 3 distinct phases:

  • Phase 1: decommissioning and disconnection of the facility from the subsea equipment.
  • Phase 2: permanent plugging and abandonment of wells.
  • Phase 3: removal of subsea infrastructure and remediation.

The facility

The Northern Endeavour is a 274m long FPSO facility. It is permanently moored between the Laminaria and Corallina oil fields. Its location is approximately 550 km northwest of Darwin in the Timor Sea.

An illustration of the Northern Endeavour and oilfields

The facility is in a non-producing mode. Necessary repairs and intermediate steps are being undertaken to ready the facility for decommissioning.

Decommissioning process

Decommissioning is the safe removal of the oil and gas production infrastructure and rehabilitation of the marine environment. It is a normal, regularly planned activity in the offshore petroleum industry.

For the Laminaria-Corallina oil fields decommissioning will likely involve 3 phases:

  1. removing of the FPSO and disconnecting it from the subsea equipment
  2. permanent plugging and abandonment of wells
  3. removal of subsea infrastructure and remediation

Activities will be undertaken in close consultation with the National Offshore Petroleum Safety and Environmental Management Authority.  This will ensure strict safety and environmental protections are administered.

Project coordination

Our department will coordinate this project. We will engage experienced contractors to manage and undertake the decommissioning and remediation processes.

Tenders for major contracts will be available on AusTender.

Until phase 1 commences, Upstream Production Solutions (Upstream PS) is managing the Northern Endeavour FPSO. Upstream PS is tasked with ensuring the FPSO:

  • remains safe
  • is ready for disconnection at the appropriate time

The Australian Government's involvement

In February 2020, the government acted quickly to ensure the safety and security of the Northern Endeavour FPSO, when the Northern Oil & Gas Australia (NOGA) group of companies, which owned and operated the Northern Endeavour, was placed into liquidation.

Extraordinary circumstances led to the government stepping in on this occasion. The government does not consider this a precedent. It is not reflective of the requirements for how other projects are to be decommissioned in Australia’s offshore waters.

The independent Walker Review was conducted into the circumstances leading to the administration and liquidation of NOGA. The government is considering a number of recommendations in the context of other ongoing regulatory framework reviews.  

Register for updates 

If you would like to keep up to date with the decommissioning of the Northern Endeavour, please register to receive updates.  

Please note that any tender documents relating to the Northern Endeavour tender will be made available through AusTender

Read more

Contact us

  • Email
  • Write to us at: Department of Industry, Science, Energy and Resources; Northern Endeavour Taskforce, GPO Box 2013, Canberra ACT 2601

Last updated: 30 July 2021

Content ID: 68902