Shell Australia has launched a dedicated search and rescue (SAR) helicopter service to support the offshore oil and gas industry in the Kimberley – the first of its kind in Australia.
The EC225 SAR helicopter is based at the Broome International Airport and is operated by CHC. It is supported by a dedicated team of highly trained pilots, paramedics, engineers and crew. The service is on standby 24-hours a day and is able to respond within 15 minutes during daylight hours and 30 minutes at night. The aircraft has a range of 300 nautical miles from the Broome airport.
Shell Australia country chair Andrew Smith said the increased search and rescue capability in the region supports Shell’s Prelude Floating LNG (FLNG) Project.
“As a result of the Prelude FLNG Project, our activity offshore in the region is increasing. This combined medevac and search and rescue service ensures we are ready to respond to an incident quickly,” said Mr 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.”
CHC Asia Pacific’s Regional Director Nick Mair said the service will expand when a new helicopter is put into service in 2015.
“The aircraft currently stationed in Broome is able to undertake SAR activities in the day, and can be used for medevac at night,” said Mr. Mair. “Early next year, a new, state-of –the- art, all-weather SAR helicopter will enable full, 24-hour search and rescue coverage.”
During times when the service is not required for oil and gas activities, it may be tasked by authorities to assist with medevac and search and rescue needs in the region.
Medical Rescue Air Ambulance is providing the paramedic SAR crew for the service.
Shell’s Prelude FLNG Project
Prelude FLNG is the first deployment of Shell’s Floating LNG (FLNG) technology and it will be located approximately 475kms north-north east of Broome. Once operating it will extract, process, store and transfer LNG, LPG and condensate at sea – something that is yet to be achieved in the industry. The project is currently under construction and Shell is drilling the offshore wells that will one day feed gas into the facility. Broome is the logistics base for the drilling activity, and during operations marine and aviation support will be based out of Broome.
CHC Helicopter is a leader in enabling customers to go further, do more and come home safely, including oil and gas companies, government search-and-rescue agencies and organizations requiring helicopter maintenance, repair and overhaul services through the Heli-One segment. CHC Helicopter is headquartered in Vancouver, British Columbia, and operates about 240 aircraft in approximately 30 countries around the world. CHC Helicopter’s parent company is CHC Group (NYSE: HELI).
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