The federal government has a potentially costly and arduous job ahead of it after the Northern Oil and Gas Australia (NOGA) group of companies has gone into liquidation.
New Resources Minister Keith Pitt, who has been in the job only days since Matt Canavan was embroiled in a funding scandal, says the situation is an “unprecedented event in the offshore oil and gas industry in Australia”.
The permanent Floating Production Storage and Offloading (FPSO) vessel Northern Endeavour is now sitting unmanned in the Timor Sea, with the Australian Government monitoring the facility.
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“It is regrettable that a commercial solution could not be found to prevent NOGA entering liquidation, but the Government will do everything it needs to do to protect the safety and security of the Northern Endeavour production vessel to protect the environment and keep workers safe,” Minister Pitt said.
The National Offshore Petroleum Safety and Environmental Management Authority (NOPSEMA) has advised that as the Northern Endeavour is not currently in production, the risks associated with safety and the environment are low.
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A statement from Minister Pitt’s office said immediate cooperation across various Australian Government agencies is taking place to ensure ongoing security of the facility.
“The Australian Government is establishing a taskforce across government and with industry to consider options to deliver a long term solution for the Northern Endeavour and the Laminaria-Corallina fields in the safest and most cost efficient manner, and limit any costs to Australian taxpayers as a result of the NOGA liquidation,” the statement continues.
“As a priority the Australian Government is working to return an operator to the Northern Endeavour to maintain it in its current state.”