Keith Mullett, Managing Director – PHI Aviation, Mike Price, Chief Operating Officer – PHI International, Mat Quinn, Country Manager NZ and General Manager Operations – Beach Energy and Simon Elliott, Operations Support Team Leader – OMV Taranaki Limited

New Plymouth will remain the central transport hub for workers on the offshore Taranaki gas field following the extension of an agreement between PHI International (PHI) and a consortium of global customers.

PHI provides essential helicopter transfer services to the offshore oil and gas industry in
New Zealand, Australia, the Philippines, Ghana and Trinidad and Tobago. It is part of PHI Aviation with PHI Americas, which serves the United States.

Under the three-year extension, PHI will use two AW139 aircraft to transport passengers and freight to five offshore facilities operating off the coast of New Plymouth on behalf of OMV, Beach Energy and Jadestone Energy.

The extension marks the continuation of a long-standing relationship between PHI and the three oil and gas companies. PHI – under its previous name Helicopters New Zealand – has been flying offshore to the Maui gas field since was first explored in 1969. It began its partnership with OMV in 2003 and with Beach Energy in 2018.

Jadestone Energy is expected to join PHI’s client list in 2021 under a purchase agreement for the Maari field.

PHI International Chief Operating Officer Mike Price said the renewal is a positive sign for the local economy as it moves into 2021.

“We are excited for the opportunity to continue providing safe and efficient offshore support to our clients and build on more than five decades’ experience operating in the Taranaki region.

“We pride ourselves on our world-leading safety record, deeply experienced team, local knowledge and commitment to sustainable business practices.

“The renewal of this contract is testament to the strong and successful relationships we have with OMV and Beach Energy and look forward to building with Jadestone.”

PHI has also made its first formal commitment to sustainability across all of the Aviation enterprise, through which it will focus on achieving more sustainable business practices and better environmental outcomes in five specific areas.

These are Health, Safety and Wellbeing, Diversity and Inclusion, Environment, Community and Governance and Business Ethics.

Keith Mullett, Managing Director for PHI Aviation, said the business will work alongside experienced industry partners and clients to achieve an ambitious programme that aims to significantly reduce its carbon footprint and other environmental impacts over the next 10 years.

“We believe that how we operate is as important as what we do. We place a high priority on looking after our people, our customers, and our communities,” Mullett said.

“We are at the start of our journey to becoming a more responsible partner in the industry and be part of the eventual transition from oil and gas to renewable energy sources.

“Alongside plenty of work already underway to enhance sustainability across our business, we are also on the cusp of launching a pilot project to measure carbon emissions at our New Plymouth base in New Zealand that will be used as the model to build other similar programs throughout the rest of PHI.”

As part of its sustainability commitment, PHI International has joined the Sustainable Business Council New Zealand and is the first helicopter operator in the country to become a member.