Newcastle on Patrol in the North West Shelf

Published on LCDR Jodie Wilkinson (author), LEUT Clinton Walters (photographer)

HMAS Newcastle on patrol in the North West Shelf, an extensive oil and gas region off the North West Australian coast.
 (photo: LEUT Clinton Walters)
HMAS Newcastle on patrol in the North West Shelf, an extensive oil and gas region off the North West Australian coast.

HMAS Newcastle’s recent transit from Darwin to HMAS Stirling south of Perth was a busy one with the ship patrolling the waters around over 20 oil and gas platforms.

Commanding Officer of Newcastle, Commander Dominic MacNamara, said the importance of providing an Australian Defence Force presence in the north of Australia could not be understated.

"I’m pleased that Newcastle is able to contribute to the whole-of-government effort by patrolling an area of vital economic importance to Australia,”Commander MacNamara said.

'Hails were exchanged with the Master of each platform during the transit with Officer of the Watch Lieutenant Suresh Kumar saying there were at least two reasons why the ship was happy to be in the region.

“Maintaining a manifest presence and demonstrating Navy’s commitment to protecting Australia’s natural resources is an important tasking for the Royal Australian Navy. 

But it's also a great opportunity to see some of Australia’s less travelled coastlines which are quite spectacular!"

This was one of a number of patrols of the North West Shelf area by major fleet unit this year with HMA Ships Sirius, Success, Ballarat and Toowoomba having conducted a similar patrols as part of the Royal Australian Navy’s strong ongoing commitment to the security of the region.

The North West Shelf in the Indian Ocean is an extensive oil and gas region off the North West Australian coast in the Pilbara region.  It has a considerable number of oil and gas wells, pipelines, production areas and support facilities.

A gas rig in the Australia's North West Shelf region.

A gas rig in the Australia's North West Shelf region.