Chilean helicopter services operator EcoCopter has prepared for a new contract with ENAP (Empresa Nacional del Petróleo), the Chilean national petroleum company, which started on 1 December 2014.
|Eurocopter As 350 B3 mural at EcoCopter headquarters|
EcoCopter has ferried two Airbus (Eurocopter) EC135 helicopters and an AS 350 B3 Ecureuil south to Punta Arenas – the South American continent’s most southerly town.
The EC135 is a twin-engine helicopter that can cruise at 158 miles/hr. It can carry 6-7 passengers in addition to the pilot.
The Airbus AS 350 B3 can cruise at 142 miles/hr, and reach an altitude of 22,966ft. It can carry five passengers in addition to the pilot, and can handle a hook load of 3086lb. See AS 350 B3 helicopter in 3D.
The three helicopters will support ENAP's offshore rigs in the Strait of Magellan, based at Posesión heliport (ICAO=SHES), northeast of Punta Arenas, in Posesion, Magallanes, Chile.
EcoCopter was founded in December 2003 and is based in Santiago, Chile. They operate in Chile and Peru.
The ENAP contract was previously held by DAP Helicópteros, the helicopter division of privately held Aerovías DAP, based in Punta Arenas.
This follows the announcement in mid-November that ENAP and Argentine state-run YPF will expand their joint oil and gas production in the waters around the Magellan Strait. The two companies agreed to invest an additional US$200 million to increase natural gas production to about 4 million cubic meters per day, from the current 2.4 million cu. m/d, YPF announced.
The companies also agreed to extend their joint production agreement beyond August 2016, but the final date will depend on negotiations between YPF and the federal and provincial governments.
Colloquy: Offshore helicopters, 3 November 2014