Barrow Island (BWI) is an oil production field in the North West of Western Australia. The island lies approximately 1300 km north of Perth and is located 88km north of Onslow and 135km west of Karratha.

BWI was gazetted as an “A” Class Reserve in 1910. The “A” Class status of the island denotes its importance as a refuge for rare species of wildlife, some of which are endemic to BWI and are extinct or near extinction on the mainland.

Beginning in 2025, the oil field will shut down and require decommissioning and removal of all relevant assets on the island.

Our study will look at which methods for pipeline decommissioning and removal will best suit the needs of our client within the tight restrictions of working in such a nature reserve.


A part of the decommissioning study includes defining approaches and methodologies for the removal of 1200 km of Carbon Steel (CS) and Glass Reinforced Epoxy (GRE) pipes (Oil production and Produced Water lines) ranging from 40mm to 500 mm in diameter. The scope of the study itself will only cover about 100km of GRE and CS pipelines between 40mm and 100mm in diameter. We wish to conclude our study in Q1 of 2024, which includes creating a methodology document outlining possible practical solutions, gaining approval from our client, procuring machinery, performing a practical trial on the Island, and presenting findings to the client. This will of course cover all aspects of project planning like scheduling, estimating, procurement, logistics, practical trials, and presenting findings as part of a final tender.

We have the ability to define 2 separate scopes which would be suitable for 2 students from different disciplines.

The first would cover the methods for flushing, cleaning, draining/drying, contamination detection/removal, and flush water treatment. The focus of this part of the study would be to ensure an acceptable level of cleanliness is achieved, that waste is treated and disposed of correctly, and that the assets and work site is left in the perfect condition for the removal side of the study. This would be suitable for a Process/Chemical or Civil Water Engineer.

The second half of the project includes the methods for cutting, removing, transporting, storing, and shipping pipe pieces off the island. A large focus of this part of the study is working with mechanical methods that would minimise offroad traversal and ensure that unexpected breakages and loss of containment do not occur. This would be more suitable for a Mechanical or Civil Structural Engineer.

Both of these scopes range from cradle to grave meaning students will gain experience in the planning, execution, and close out phases of the study, along side making estimations and recommendations for the future project.


2023 Q1-Q2: planning, procurement, documentation creation

2023 Q2-Q3: practical trials on small scale in workshops and on the island

2023 Q3- 2024 Q1: Study commences on site

2024 Q1: Study report and recommendations for full project submitted.

This timeline will allow for either a beginning or mid-year intake for an interns, since site/workshop trials will be carried out in the middle and the end of 2023, giving the students the opportunity to engage in field work.


Milestones for success:

  • Methods and support documentation approved by client
  • Estimations approved by client
  • Equipment procured on time and on budget
  • Equipment deployed on site and ready for operations
  • Schedules for work approved
  • Successful testing, adjusting and execution of study methods
  • No incidents during operations
  • Completion of scope work on time and budget
  • Recommendations for full project delivered to and approved by client


Liberty hopes to gain:

  • Accurate documentation of all stages of the process
  • Input on methodologies
  • Assistance with planning, estimations, scheduling, and calculations
  • Assistance with trouble shooting
  • Recommendations for the full project


Liberty offers:

  • Guidance and Mentorship in a professional engineering setting
  • Exposure to industry, namely petroleum and decommissioning
  • Experience in leading others
  • Training and building an HSE mindset
  • Networking opportunities



Successful candidates will be tasked with filling out a Professional Development Plan with the help of their mentors, and regular meetings will be held to ensure that their major and minor goals are being met, with additional support being given where needed. Students will of course also need to meet their CEED requirements.



The Barrow Island Decommissioning project is a great introduction to the Petroleum and Decommissioning industries. This is the beginning of a growing trend of petroleum decommissioning in Australia and around the world, with demand expected to dramatically increase from 2025, and peak between 2030 and 2060. This internship is a great opportunity to get a foot in the door of what will be one of Australia’s most lucrative industries for the foreseeable future.