Ocean Tow for Santos
Melanesian marine services market leader, Pacific Towing (PacTow) recently completed an ocean towage project of a different kind in the Gulf of Papua – the towage of a 250m floating ‘flexi-hose’ from Port Moresby to the Santos-operated Kumul Marine Terminal as part of scheduled routine maintenance. The hose will be used to transfer oil from the export facility to oil tankers. Two of PacTow’s fleet of 21 vessels as well as its commercial dive team were involved in the project which also required towage of the replaced hose back to Port Moresby.
It wasn’t the first time PacTow had provided a similar towage service to the Kumul Marine Terminal. In 2019, it towed the existing transfer hose when the facility was being operated by Oil Search. PacTow has also provided ocean towage services to other offshore facilities, including the triple-tug movement of Twinza’s Pasca A platform, located further south in the Gulf of Papua.
Neil Papenfus, General Manager of PacTow, described the February project as “relatively straightforward, well-planned, and collaborative.” Other businesses centrally involved in the project included MTIS, Shelf Subsea, Svitzer, and TWL.
Prior to the actual tow, PacTow’s commercial dive team set up the hose’s mooring system so that it could be assembled in-water in Port Moresby’s Fairfax Harbour. Once the hose was secured to the ‘blue water’ tug Waiowa, she and her 250m long trailing cargo were then safely escorted by the PacTow tug Pacific Salvor across Fairfax Harbour and out the Basilisk Passage until she was in clear waters.
Waiowa and her 100 percent PNG crew (including two female officers from one of PacTow’s cadetship programs) then completed the open ocean component of the towage project. The five-day project involved a round trip journey of approximately 350 NM (i.e., 650 KM). PacTow has provided PNG’s oil and gas sector (upstream and downstream – onshore and offshore) with a diverse array of services for more than a decade. The company is Melanesia’s only full member of the International Salvage Union and is a member of the International Spill Control Organization. To learn more about PacTow: www.pacifictowingmarineservices.com
Image caption: Pacific Towing’s most recent project for PNG’s O&G sector was the ocean towage of a 250m ‘transfer hose’ from Port Moresby to the Kumul Marine Terminal in the Gulf of Papua