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About: In order to facilitate the proper management of the Great Australian Bight Oil and Gas Exploration Program, BP and it joint venture partner, Statoil, are to construct a multi-million dollar aviation base at Ceduna, a South Australian coastal town situated at the eastern land edge of the Bight.

BP and Statoil are Joint Venture Partners in the Great Australian Bight Oil and Gas Drilling Program

BP, CSIRO, South Australian Research and Development Institute (SARDI), the University of Adelaide and the Flinders University in South Australia, are all partners in the Great Australian Bight Research Program. To assist this program in the carrying out of its objectives, BP and its joint venture partner, Statoil, a large Norwegian energy company, are about to undertake exploratory drilling for oil and gas in the Great Australian Bight.The exploration program that is to begin in 2016 is expected to finish in 2018. Statoil has a 30 percent interest in the Great Australian Bight Exploration Project and BP holds 70 percent.

Bristow Group to Build and Operate the Ceduna Aviation Base

The contract to construct and operate the Ceduna Aviation Base has been awarded to Bristow Group, an international helicopter company. Bristow commenced its Australian operations in 1967 and today it is the biggest provider of helicopter services to the Australian oil and gas industry.

Search and Rescue Service to be Provided from the Ceduna Aviation Base

The Ceduna Aviation Base will incorporate a helipad, supporting office blocks, hangars and a passenger terminal. It is being considered to also include an alternate aircraft landing strip to the west of the town. Besides ferrying personnel and equipment from Ceduna to the off shore oil and gas wells Bristow will also operate a search and rescue service from the base.

Ceduna Aviation Base to Consist of six Large Helicopters

The fleet operating out of the Ceduna Aviation Base will consist of a Eurocopter and three large helicopters that will transport workers to and from the drilling rigs and the Ceduna Base that are 300 kilometres apart. There will also be two Sikorsky S92 helicopters, one of which will act as a back up for search and rescue as well as for crew change work. The other S92 helicopter will be used solely for search and rescue work, a first in Australia. The base should be operational by the end of 2015.

Ceduna Aviation Base is 300 Kilometres From the Offshore Drilling Wells

The area in the Great Australian Bight where the offshore drilling is to take place, is located 300 kilometres south west of Ceduna and 400 kilometres west of Port Lincoln, in water depths of from 1000 to 2500 metres. The equipment to be used to undertake the drilling operation will consist of a mobile offshore drilling unit that has been specifically constructed for use in deep water conditions. Once operational the Ceduna Aviation Base will employ around 30 full time employees.


BP dates back to 1908, originally know as Anglo-Persian Oil Company when oil was discovered beneath the sands of Persia.By 1914 the Anglo-Persian project was nearly bankrupt for the second time in its short history, the company had plenty of oil but no one to sell it to. It was Winston more


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