The Malaysian Coast Guard was forced to intervene to prevent an unmanned vessel from colliding with a gas platform operated by Petronas.
The Malaysian Maritime Enforcement Agency (MMEA) confirmed via social media on Tuesday that it received a report from an Indonesian shipping company that the Winposh Rampart was drifting unmanned.
The incident initially occurred in Vietnamese waters when the Anchor Handling Vessel Limin Rosmina lost its tow line in inclement weather while towing Winposh Bulwark from Matak, Indonesia to Yang Pu, in China.
The MMEA said the Winposh Rampart then drifted into Malaysian waters and its risk assessment revealed the vessel could potentially collide with the Petronas Telok A platform, creating a potential “life-threatening” incident. “if no intervention was undertaken.
As a result, MMEA coordinated with Petronas to tow the ghost ship to a safer location, with local media citing MMEA Chief Executive Officer Maritime Admiral Datuk Mohd Zubil Mat Som as saying the operation involved the seagoing vessel Jujur (KM) and the AW139 aircraft, while Petronas sent the Icon Lotus and SK Pilot offshore supply vessels to assist.
He added that the Winposh Rampart was now towed by the Icon Lotus to the Kemaman Supply Basin in Terengganu, Malaysia.
The Telok gas field is located in the South China Sea, nearly 200 kilometers off the coast of Peninsular Malaysia and was initially developed as a 50/50 joint venture between Petronas and US supermajor ExxonMobil .
Release Telok A started in March 2013 and was the first part of a two-phase development involving two four-legged unmanned gas satellite platforms – linked to the Guntong E gas platform – and 14 development wells.