Ship shape at Barry Beach
ESSO’s Barry Beach Terminal superintendent Mark Duthie believes the company has a bright future in the region.
The terminal is the supplier to the energy giant’s Bass Strait oil and gas operations – shipping all manner of things to workers far from their mainland homes.
Mr Duthie, who has been working at Barry Beach for two-and-a-half years, but for part of the company decades longer, said the terminal staff had a “real focus on safety and doing the right things in an economic way to continue to run the site into the foreseeable future”.
In real estate parlance, the terminal would be said to have “million dollar” views – a picture postcard vista of coast and mountains. The workers move with purpose, but are seemingly free of the stress that can inhabit other worksites.
“Everything that goes out to the platforms, other than the people, pretty much goes through Barry Beach. We supply their food requirements, diesel requirement, their glycol requirements for the gas pipelines and all their other materials,” Mr Duthie said.
“Every single thing, from pieces of pipe and valves, to exercise bikes and gym equipment and dart boards and billiard tables. Everything goes out through here. Everything that keeps people happy and functioning.”
Moored at the terminal last week was the Lady Kari-Ann, an old girl (about 30 years old, but still in ship shape condition) who was readying herself for another trip when The Star dropped in last week. Mr Duthie said she would not leave port until almost every part of her was crammed full with essentials.
“This is the vessel that is supporting the projects at Marlin B and West Tuna. She will go out, taking materials to the platforms where construction is occurring, and then come back. We have a second vessel that runs to all the regular platforms. She makes two trips a week to all the platforms in the strait,” he said.
Mr Duthie said there was about 50 regular staff at the terminal, but the number swells with those workers who come on to the site.
“It might be people like truck drivers, people doing specialist maintenance activities, asphalt repairers and food suppliers who manage the food for those offshore,” he said.
Mr Duthie said that the regular and massive supply of glycol – which stops pipes freezing – to the platforms was perhaps the most important function the terminal and the ships fulfilled.
“If the glycol doesn’t move, the gas doesn’t move,” he said.
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