Saipem’s Castorone pipelayer vessel will be out of action for at least four weeks, following an accident last week.
The WA Today, citing an unnamed source, said 200 construction workers had been demobilised. Saipem also stood down a second shift of workers.
Saipem’s initial assessment attributed the problem to a software anomaly. This appeared to have led to a tensioner failing. The pipeline, which the Castorone is laying for Woodside Energy’s Scarborough project, buckled on the seabed.
However, the WA Today said, it had not damaged the Castorone.
Saipem’s pipeline problem followed an incident earlier in January, when the dynamic positioning (DP) system failed. This led to the Castorone moving and, as a result, a section of pipeline broke. This occurred on January 2.
The Offshore Alliance (OA) reported – and criticised – a report that Woodside and regulatory investigators were going together to the Castone. National Offshore Petroleum Safety and Environmental Management Authority (NOPSEMA) should carry out an independent investigation, the OA said.
The union said the DP malfunction could have maimed or killed crew.
NOPSEMA’s actions show “clear disregard” for stakeholders, it continued, demanding a report on the DP incident. “The Offshore Alliance has no confidence in NOPSEMA’s impending investigation of this week’s debacle on the Castorone, as their efforts to date have been second rate,” it continued.
The group also called for Saipem to ensure that workers are compensated, for the unexpected stoppage on the Castorone.
The OA said there had been more safety problems on the Castorone, during its work for Woodside. The group said there had been eight serious safety incidents on the vessel.
Scarborough is due to start up in 2026, although some analysts have suggested this will slide into 2027.
While there are problems with the Castorone, Woodside has reported recently that McDermott International had installed the flare boom on the Scarborough’s floating production unit (FPU). The boom is more than 153 metres, it said, and weighs 900 tonnes.
McDermott is carrying out work on Scarborough at the Qingdao McDermott Wuchuan yard, in China.