Woodside gas pipeline ruptured after offshore incident


Woodside temporarily suspended the installation of a marine gas pipeline for its $18 billion Scarborough gas project following a serious incident on Monday night, which resulted in a large breach in the pipeline and generated union concerns about the possibility of poor safety practices being adopted.

The pipeline installation vessel, Castorone, lost control of the pipeline in the installation process off the Pilbara coast, leading to the evacuation of workers and causing damage to the pipeline. This situation marked the second significant safety incident on the 330-meter-long vessel this month.

It is important to note that an underwater inspection after the incident confirmed the rupture of the gas pipeline , allowing the entry of seawater.

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Woodside practices questioned

Brad Gandy, spokesman for the Offshore Alliance union, which represents offshore oil and gas workers, said Woodside and its contractor Saipem were adopting unacceptable practices and cutting corners. Gandy noted that the union had consistently raised concerns about the health and safety of workers on the ship to Woodside, Saipem and the offshore safety regulator, NOPSEMA, since the start of the pipeline installation late last year.

Woodside should take a more hands-on approach with Castorone and undertake a full review of Saipem’s health and safety standards and culture ,” he said.

Gandy said both companies were taking an extremely careless approach to safety issues and stressed the need for immediate action by the offshore safety regulator, NOPSEMA.

Likewise, a spokesperson for this organization indicated that Saipem had reported both incidents, that investigations were being carried out and that they would not provide further comment at this time. Asked about both incidents and safety on the ship, Woodside was told by a spokeswoman that there had been “two separate incidents in January on a contractor vessel” that was installing the Scarborough pipeline.

None of the incidents resulted in injuries to personnel and there was localized damage to the trunk line that will be remedied ,” he said, referring further questions to Saipem.

Saipem’s statement adds that the damage suffered by the ship was not significant.

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