22-Jul-2015 Source: HeliHub.com
Statoil Tanzania AS, operator of Block 2 offshore Tanzania completed a successful exploration programme in May 2015 which also saw the departure of the drillship Discoverer America from Tanzania waters. Since the start of the programme in February 2012, the company drilled 14 wells and made eight discoveries of approximately 22 trillion cubic feet of gas. Four of these are classified as “high impact” discoveries, including the Piri-1 discovery, which was the second largest gas discovery in the world in 2014.
Statoil still sees potential in the area and expects further activity in Block 2 in the future. However, the Norwegian multinational oil and gas company told HeliHub.com that they will now “focus on evaluating data to enable it to mature new prospects and progress the development project”. In reality this probably means they need to buy time for the oil/gas price to reach a particular level to make it economically viable. As a result of this operational focus, the contracts for all three AW139 helicopters – two for crew transfer and one for SAR – have now been terminated.
Two of the AW139s – the crew transfer pair registered 5H-EXT and 5H-EXU – are currently being ferried through to Aberdeen, likely for storage in the short term. In recent days their route has been as follows – it is feasible that there were other stops en route.
July 14 Libreville – Lagos – Accra
July 15 Accra – Tamale – Bamako
July 16 Bamako – Nouakchott
July 17 Nouakchott – Dakhla – Lanzarote
July 18 Lanzarote – Agadir – Casablanca – Tangier
July 19 Tangier – Ibiza
July 21 Ibiza – Perpignan – Tours – Redhill
Latest information is that 5H-EXU may be AOG in Perpignan, as we are only aware of 5H-EXT progressing beyond that point and arriving in the UK at Redhill. We expect their route to continue from Redhill to Aberdeen
HeliHub.com research for this story found that the two AW139s are not currently listed on the Tanzanian civil aircraft register despite the aircraft still flying on 5H registrations. The third – SAR equipped – aircraft is still on the Tanzanian civil aircraft register as 5H-EXV. [update: that information was correct at the time it was posted. At 15:30 Eastern on 24 July, EXT and EXU were back on the online register and the SAR ship EXV had been removed]
July 24 – Bristow Helicopters advised HeliHub that the contract is cancelled effective March 2016, although the evidence of the two being ferried to the UK shows they are no longer flying for StatOil in Tanzania.
Jeremy Parkin – HeliHub.com