Shell Australia has launched a dedicated search and rescue (SAR) helicopter service to support the booming offshore oil and gas industry off the coast of North West Australia. The SAR service is believed to be the first of its kind dedicated to the country’s offshore resources sector.
Initially an Airbus Helicopters EC225 is based at Broome International Airport in Western Australia for operation within a 300-nm range from Broome. CHC Helicopters operates the EC225 and has a dedicated team of pilots, paramedics, engineers and crew. The EC225 is on standby 24 hours a day and is able to respond within 15 minutes during the day and 30 minutes at night, performing SAR activities in the day and medevac at night. A new all-weather SAR helicopter will be put into service next year, supporting full 24-hour search and rescue coverage, says CHC Asia Pacific regional director Nick Mair.
The helicopter is supporting Shell Australia’s Prelude Floating LNG (FLING) project, which is the first deployment of Shell’s floating LNG technology, which will be located approximately 475 km north-northeast of Broome. It will extract, process, store and transfer LNG, LPG and condensate at sea.
“As a result of the Prelude FLING, our activity offshore in the region is increasing. This combined medevac and SAR service ensures we are ready to respond to an incident quickly,” notes Shell Australia country chair Andrew Smith. “Both Shell and CHC see this service as a key part of the growing oil and gas industry in this region and we hope to welcome new industry partners to the service soon,” he adds.
Related: Offshore News