Off­shore ship base boosts Ex­mouth

Pilbara News - - News - Tom Zaun­mayr

Fu­gro TSM’s 137m ship South­ern Ocean ar­rived off the Gulf of Ex­mouth at the week­end ahead of a month-long stint off­shore on a BHP Bil­li­ton project.

The con­struc­tion ves­sel has been moved to the re­gion af­ter its op­er­a­tor won the con­tract for the Pyre­nees Ven­ture phase three in­stal­la­tion project, about 45km off the North West Cape.

Base Marine chief ex­ec­u­tive Nick Tutty said the use of Ex­mouth as a base for the South­ern Ocean would pro­vide a morale boost.

“Projects like this are so im­por­tant for Ex­mouth’s eco­nomic sus­tain­abil­ity, es­pe­cially at a time when we re­ally need it,” Mr Tutty said.

“It’s just been so quiet across the in­dus­try.

“BHP and Fu­gro TSM typ­i­cally op­er­ate out of big ports like Dampier.

“So they’re test­ing the wa­ters a bit and we’ll show them what we can do here.”

The South­ern Ocean’s pres­ence in the gulf is ex­pected to pro­vide flow-on ben­e­fits for many lo­cal in­dus­tries in­clud­ing hos­pi­tal­ity, freight and lo­gis­tics, charter com­pa­nies, en­gi­neer­ing and whole­salers.

Shire of Ex­mouth chief ex­ec­u­tive Bill Price said the ar­rival of the South­ern Ocean ves­sel off Ex­mouth high­lighted the grow­ing ca­pac­ity of the town’s marine ser­vices in­dus­try.

“In re­cent years there has been sig­nif­i­cant in­vest­ment in Ex­mouth’s marine sup­ply and ser­vice in­dus­tries and the town is now well placed to ser­vice the off­shore oil and gas mar­ket,” Mr Price said.

“This is a pos­i­tive step to­wards di­ver­si­fy­ing our lo­cal econ­omy and pro­vid­ing ad­di­tional op­por­tu­ni­ties for busi­ness growth and devel­op­ment.”

Mr Tutty said Ex­mouth was well poised to take on a big­ger share of the off­shore re­sources in­dus­try.

“Since com­ing to Ex­mouth we’ve seen what the ca­pa­bil­i­ties of the town are and they are bril­liant,” he said.

“We are just try­ing to pack­age them and mar­ket them the right way.

“The ves­sel oper­a­tors we use here are all class and the lo­cal freight-lo­gis­tics oper­a­tors are some of the best I’ve dealt with. I think a turn­ing of the tides is com­ing where you’re go­ing to find a lot of these off­shore oil projects down our way com­ing on­line and maybe we’re go­ing to be more con­ve­nient to use as a base than Dampier.”

The Pyre­nees devel­op­ment com­prises six sep­a­rate fields — Stickle, Crosby, Tan­gle­head, Moon­dyne, Wild Bull and Ravenswort.

Work is ex­pected to com­mence ahead of time in April and in­volves sub­sea tieback ac­tiv­i­ties on the Stickle 9 and Tan­gle­head wells.

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