ITALIAN offshore installation specialist Saipem has confirmed an incident on the North West Shelf on Tuesday morning in which Woodside Energy’s new Scarborough pipeline was holed.

Offshore industry media reported the pipelaying vessel Castorone lost control of the installation, causing an evacuation of workers and crew and allowing seawater into the pipeline. It was further reported another incident occurred on 2 January when uncontrolled vessel movement caused a break in the pipeline.

Saipem was awarded the Scarborough contract in January 2022, to complete the export trunkline coasting and installation of the pipeline to connect the Scarborough gas field to the second, Pluto II, onshore train. Work began in mid-2023 and Woodside recently said the project was 55% complete and expected to begin exports in early 2026.

Saipem acknowledged the incident but offered no explanation: “ Saipem confirms that early this morning [30 January] an incident occurred on the Castorone pipelay vessel off the waters of Australia during normal pipelaying operations.

“The incident did not cause injuries to personnel and localised damage to the trunkline was sustained which will be remediated. Castorone vessel did not sustain any major damages.

“The health and safety of our personnel, of the environment and our assets is a top priority for Saipem.”