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Consents Granted For Tui Oil Field Decommissioning

A Board of Inquiry has granted the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment (MBIE) marine consents for activities associated with decommissioning the Tui oil field off the coast of Taranaki.

The decommissioning will involve the removal of subsea infrastructure and the plugging, and abandoning, of eight wells.

MBIE sought consent for the following:

- retrieval of production flowlines, umbilicals, and gas-lift coil tubing from the seabed

- retrieval of mid-water arches and gravity bases

- retrieval of miscellaneous subsea equipment (gas-lift jumpers, hydraulic flying leads, electric flying leads, gas lift manifold, hold back anchors)

- installation of a mobile offshore drilling unit and its removal after the work has been carried out

- plugging and abandonment of wells

- and the discharge of harmful substances associated with the decommissioning activities.

The consents are subject to conditions, including a requirement to carry out environmental monitoring, which is to be prepared in consultation with, and ongoing involvement from, Te Kāhui o Taranaki Trust. The monitoring will need to be carried out in accordance with an environmental monitoring plan certified by the EPA.

The consents expire on 31 December 2030. This will allow environmental monitoring after the work has taken place and take into account any delays to the programme.

Read the Board of Inquiry’s decision on the Tui oil field decommissioning

The EPA’s role in the process

A Board of Inquiry was appointed by the Minister for the Environment. The EPA provides process advice and administrative support to the Board. This ranges from managing the public notification and organising the logistics of any hearing, to commissioning specialist advice to assist the Board.

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