Tui Project’s offshore decommissioning works completed

Published: 01 March 2024

The last of the Tui Oil Field’s subsea infrastructure has been removed and returned to shore, bringing the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment’s Tui Project’s decommissioning activities to a close.

Last weekend, Sapura Energy Australia, using its construction support vessel Sapura Constructor, successfully cut and recovered the remaining 2 wellheads. Earlier, Sapura had removed 4 mid-water arch systems. Each of these systems comprised a 60-tonne arch the size of 2 double decker buses, suspended on chains above a 100-tonne base.

“The Tui Project was set up 4 years ago and there’s been an incredible effort behind the scenes, on and off the water, to decommission and remove about 7000 tonnes of infrastructure,” says MBIE’s Tui Project Director Lloyd Williams.

“Sapura started removing the mid-water arch systems on Saturday 10 February. There’s a high degree of technical difficulty with bringing these massive structures onboard. Sapura’s whole campaign was expected to take significantly longer, so it’s great to see it finished so efficiently and well ahead of schedule.

“Our attention now turns to post-decommissioning environmental monitoring and the close-out of the project,” Mr Williams said.

The Tui Project was established in 2020 when the Crown assumed responsibility for decommissioning the Tui Oil Field following the liquidation and receivership of the operator. The main phases of the Project were:

  • Phase 1 - disconnection and demobilisation of the Floating Production Storage and Offloading vessel Umuroa (completed May 2021)
  • Phase 2 - removal of subsea infrastructure (concluded July 2022)
  • Phase 3 - plugging and abandonment of the Tui wells (concluded November 2023).

The final stage of the decommissioning wrapped-up residual tasks from the Project’s earlier phases.

Te Kāhui o Taranaki Tumu Whakarito (CEO) Wharehoka Wano is very pleased the decommissioning campaign has concluded.

“We are delighted the offshore work at the Tui Field is now completed and that all the equipment has been recovered from the sea floor. This has been a real learning opportunity for all involved and we look forward to the final wrap-up of the project,” Mr Wano said.

The final costs will be confirmed over the next few months as part of the Project’s close-out.

One of the mid-water arches being hauled onto the Sapura Constructor.

Further information

Tui Project

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