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Hookers - leaders in energy transportation

By Neil Ritchie

THE expertise of New Plymouth-headquartered transport and logistics group Hooker Pacific in energy-related matters has again been reinforced by it recently winning a global tender for the transportation of all oil products from Origin Energy New Zealand’s Taranaki operations.


Hooker Pacific first won a contract to cart all condensate (light oil) and liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) from the southern offshore Kupe gas field in late 2009.

Since then 16 or so dedicated road tanker units have been carrying condensate from the onshore production station near Manaia north to the Omata tank farm overlooking Port Taranaki, while the LPG either goes to the New Plymouth port or is trucked direct to destinations around the North Island.

But late last year Origin Energy NZ went global, calling for tenders for the continued transportation of the Kupe products plus oil, condensate and produced water (the water that naturally flows from underground formations containing oil and gas) from its other Taranaki assets that include the onshore Rimu, Kauri and Manutahi fields. Hooker Pacific was one of many domestic and international bidders.

“And we were successful again in picking up this multi-million-dollar contract; we were very pleased with the signing in late January,” says an elated Hooker Pacific Fuel Haulage chief executive Andy Stanley.

Below: Hooker Pacific Freighting chief executive Tony Hamilton (left) and Hookier Pacific Fuel Haulage chief executive Andy Stanley -- pictured in front of one of Hooker Pacific's 240-plus heavy transport units -- predict a bright future for one of New Zealand's largest independent transport and logistics groups.

The same subsidiary has again been successful in winning (retaining) a contract to deliver all Contact Energy’s Rockgas LPG throughout the country.

Andy reckons the distance travelled by the dedicated Kupe tanker fleet now totals several million kilometres – “it probably stretches to the moon and back four times” – and he believes the tankers will effectively do the 768,000km return space journey several more times before flows from the Kupe field falter many years from now.

There are also the contracts with a variety of other clients for the nationwide or North Island distribution of petrol, diesel and LPG or bitumen, as well as the cartage of various Taranaki crudes, condensates and other petroleum products.

And Hooker Pacific Freighting chief executive Tony Hamilton says the transportation of equipment associated with oil and gas exploration and development, including new production facilities, means his subsidiary is also busy.

“There is a myriad of stuff -- from rigs, drill pipe and casings, to drilling mud equipment, etcetera, and temporary accommodation modules – that needs to be transported to every new wellsite. There is also the construction of new production facilities.

“And we are finding new companies coming in – explorers, drilling companies, service companies and others – many with different areas of expertise and with a different focus than years ago.”

Recent onshore freight work includes shifting the Chinese Chuanqing Drilling Engineering Company Rig 43 and associated equipment less than a kilometre to a new wellsite within the Shell-Todd Kapuni gas field.

There has also been the preliminary work of shifting “base camp” – Portacom and other temporary buildings – up to a remote wellsite, about 16km from any official formed road, near Waikawau north of Awakino. This is in preparation for British listed junior explorer Kea Petroleum drilling a deviated well into the onshore-offshore Mauku Prospect.1

As well, Hooker Pacific works offshore -- as a shipping agent, and through the Westpack (storage, packing-devanning containers)joint venture with Port Taranaki, and in association with Aberdeen-headquartered Ferguson Seacabsin providing specialist offshore containersoften used by the energy industry.

Tony says the resurgent offshore oil and gas exploration sector – with at least two rigs and a drillship due in New Zealand waters from late 2013 to possibly 2015 – augurs well for the whole Hooker Pacific group, commonly known as Hookers.

“Freighting and fuel haulage work pretty closely together, with the ability to offer a one-stop approach, often anticipating likely future needs of our customers and the industry as a whole,” adds Andy.

“The future looks very positive for Hookers, with fewer peaks and troughs in energy industry activity,” concludes Tony.

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