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Woodside has been forced to stop installation of an offshore gas pipeline on its $12bn Scarborough gas project after an incident on Saipem’s Castorone pipelayer punched a hole in the pipeline.
According to Australian media outlets, the Castorone pipeline installation vessel lost control of the pipeline during installation on Monday which required an evacuation of workers and damage to the pipeline allowing seawater in.
Local media even quoted a source not authorised to speak to the media that revealed that this was not Castorone’s first incident this month. The vessel reportedly had an earlier incident on January 2 when uncontrolled movement of the vessel broke the pipeline.
Saipem did confirm that the incident on Monday took place and said that it did not cause injuries to personnel and localised damage to the trunkline was sustained which will be remediated. The company added that the Castorone vessel did not sustain any major damages.
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“The health and safety of our personnel, of the environment and our assets is a top priority for Saipem,” the Italian company stated.
Saipem was awarded the contract for work on the Scarborough project in January 2022. Along with a deal for work in Guyana, the company banked around $1.1bn.
The company was entrusted with completing the export trunkline coating and installation of the pipeline that will connect the Scarborough gas field with the onshore plant. Offshore operations started in mid-2023.
The Scarborough gas field is being developed through new offshore facilities connected by an approximately 430 km export trunkline to a second LNG train at the existing Pluto LNG onshore facility. The development will be among the lowest carbon-intensity sources of LNG globally. Woodside recently said that the Scarborough project was 55% complete and on track to start exporting gas in 2026.