The ship had been drilling the Ruru exploration well off the South Taranaki coast for operator Shell Todd Oil Services Limited (STOS).

Repairs to the drill ship are underway after a comprehensive assessment of the vessel and its equipment. Only minor damage was sustained to the vessel itself and this can be repaired relatively quickly.

However, some equipment such as the mooring spread and the riser package were damaged when some of the vessel’s mooring lines failed. Some replacement parts will need to be flown in from overseas. A plan is being developed to completely recover the riser system from the seabed so there will be no impact to the environment. The Noble Discoverer will not be used for the recovery work.

As well as recovering and repairing equipment, investigations are underway to fully understand why some of the mooring lines failed and what needs to be done to prevent this in future. As safety is the first and foremost priority, and with winter substantially reducing the operating window, the vessel may not return to the Ruru well for some time. There is therefore an opportunity for the Noble Discoverer contract holder to enable the vessel to be upgraded while it is in port.

In accordance with best industry practice the Ruru well was safely closed in before the storm hit and is in good condition. Despite the understandable discomfort to those on board during the storm, the vessel responded well to the conditions. There was no risk to the safety of the crew and no environmental damage.

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