BP and partners ASCO and Flinders Logistics have officially opened the company’s Marine Supply Base in South Australia, which will play a key role in supporting the BP-Statoil $605 million Great Australian Bight (GAB) exploration programme.
BP Managing Director, Exploration and Production, Australia, Claire Fitzpatrick, said the facility will be a marine supply base which hosts a drilling fluids plant, has a dedicated wharf area and stores large amounts of specialist materials and equipment.
She said the infrastructure project marks another step forward in preparing for BP’s exploration drilling programme, which is subject to regulatory approval.
“BP is delighted to be partnering with ASCO, a company that brings deep, global expertise and Flinders Logistics, a highly respected South Australian business, to develop this key infrastructure,” Ms Fitzpatrick said.
SA Minister for Resources and Energy Tom Koutsantonis, who visited the facility on Friday, said the base and the planned exploration represents a “huge supply chain opportunity” for local companies.
“The State Government has been very active in linking local companies with BP for procurement and subcontracting opportunities,” Mr Koutsantonis said.
“Through South Australia’s Industry Capability Network, approximately 1,000 companies have registered an interest in participating in this project. That interest comes from a broad cross section of industry sectors, including aerospace, maritime, medical, logistics, engineering and food suppliers.”
According to him, there will be approximately 18 workers employed at the base by the time it hits peak operational activity.
“The Great Australian Bight represents one of the world’s last under-explored offshore basins. If planned exploration drilling leads to new energy resource projects it will create commercial and employment opportunities, energy security, additional exports and a broader tax base that will benefit all South Australians,” the Minister added.
“Supply vessels and the drilling rig will require fuel, catering and transport services from local ports during each activity, which will provide opportunities for SMEs.”
BP’s exploration plans will need to satisfy the Government’s environmental requirements to protect the environment and the livelihoods of people living in the region.