28-Jun-2021 Source: HeliHub.com
Only a matter of weeks since we reported that Apache Oil had decided to move their helicopter support operations away from Bristow, we can confirm that another oil company is taking the same route. TAQA Bratani has decided to move away from Bristow for the North Sea support flights to their Brae fields, located 135 miles north-east of Aberdeen. TAQA have confirmed to HeliHub.com that a new contract has been awarded to CHC, with flights to starting on 1st September.
Bristow currently operates a Sikorsky S92 on this contract, flying an average of one sector per day between Aberdeen and Brae fields – with the usual routing going first to the Brae Alpha platform, then to East Brae before returning to Aberdeen.
TAQA acquired the Brae fields in early 2020 from RockRose, who in turn had acquired them as part of its acquisition of Marathon Oil UK in July 2019. Together with joint venture partners, the company has extended the life of the Brae Alpha field by at least three years to 2030, and the East Brae field by two years to 2023. Brae Bravo is scheduled to be removed this year.
The combined loss of the Apache and TAQA contracts reduces Bristow flights out of Aberdeen by one third. Once these have moved, the operator’s other key customers are Chrysaor and Repsol, which will each account for about 30% of the remaining offshore support flights, and BP with 20%. Hurricane, Dana and CNR make up the remaining 20% between them. We understand that at least one of these is monitoring the outcome of how the UK Competition and Markets Authority views the Babcock/CHC merger before making a decision on future helicopter support.
The more recent changes in Bristow UK’s offshore contracts must be of significant concern to the group head office in Houston. We will continue to work with Parapex Media, who monitor the flight volumes and fleet movements as part of their helicopter market intelligence service, and report on changes as they happen in the future.
Jeremy Parkin – HeliHub.com