UK-BASED oil and gas services company Asco Group will team with private ports operator Flinders Port Holdings to manage a new supply base in Port Adelaide for BP’s offshore exploration program.

Working with Flinders subsidiary Flinders Logistics, the base will provide the full range of stevedoring and materials management services, Asco said.

These will include loading and off-loading of vessels and trucks, ground transportation scheduling and coordination, warehouse and yard management, bulk storage and tank farm management and Australian Quarantine and Inspection Service compliant wash-down facilities.

The facility will have 120 metres of quayside and more than 20,000 square metres of laydown area.

It will include a liquids mud plant, light and heavy vehicle parking areas and an administration building with training room capability.

BP’s exploration program is set to start in 2016, with four wells to be drilled in its offshore permits located about 300 kilometres southwest of Ceduna.

Asco said it expected activity at the supply base would ramp up from early that year, to employ about 25 full-time staff at peak.

The chief executive of Asco Australasia, Matt Thomas, said the company was proud to have been awarded the contract.

“The Great Australian Bight is a challenging new global frontier in oil and gas exploration and ASCO will bring its significant international experience to support BP’s operations,” Mr Thomas said.

“We recognise the importance of BP’s activities to the South Australian economy and will support local employment and skills development across our operations.”