Oil Production To Restart In Two Weeks Says Tullow

Published at 09:06AM - 08/04/16

Oil production to restart in two weeks says Tullow Oil, as it gives an update on the ongoing turret issue of its Kwame Nkrumah FPSO, Offshore Ghana.

Operators Tullow Oil had announced, back in February 2016, that an issue with the Kwame Nkrumah’s turret bearing, its FPSO for the Jubilee field, had been identified, and that investigations were ongoing to its cause and extent.

At that time, Tullow also confirmed that part of its immediate safety measures was to limit the rotation of the FPSO.

Broken Turret

Kwame Nkrumah’s turret was said to be the biggest ever constructed within the offshore oil and gas industry at the time of delivery, in 2007. It manufacturers, Houston based SOFEC, have been part of the team conducting the investigation into the issue.

Today, Tullow Oil released an update following the completion of that investigation, confirming the state of the Turret. The statement read:

‘Technical investigation of the condition of the turret bearing on the FPSO Kwame Nkrumah has confirmed that the bearing has been damaged and is no longer able to rotate as originally designed.’

‘A root cause analysis is ongoing and a project team is assessing which long-term remediation option is most appropriate. Initial feasibility studies by the team have confirmed that the bearing issue can be fully resolved’.

Tullow Oil Jubilee Field Map
Tullow Oil Jubilee Field Map
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Implications of the failed bearing included a shutdown of production, as Tullow deemed take-off operations unsafe without rotation from the FPSO itself.

Two Additional Tankers Hired

Initially Tullow employed two tugs, to be on location around the clock, to limit the rotation of Kwame Nkrumah – part of what Tullow is calling its “heading control” measures.

Production is now looking to be restarted, after around two months of being shutdown, with new procedures and infrastructure being brought in to mitigate the “heading control’s” knock-on effect to off-take operations.

Tullow has also employed two additional tankers: a 1 million barrel capacity storage tanker; and a dynamically positioned shuttle tanker, that itself has a capacity of 250,000 barrels.

Tullow Oil Kwame Nkrumah FPSO, Offshore Ghana

Production Restart

Tullow have said that although all necessary infrastructure is now infield, it will spend some time to ensure newly implemented operating procedures are properly in place.

The UK based oil and gas operator currently estimates that Kwame Nkrumah’s production will be back online within two weeks, before being slowly ramped up. The company did not say if they expect to reach full capacity with the FPSO in its current mode.

“We are focused on resolving this issue with the bearing on the FPSO Kwame Nkrumah in a timely and safe manner.” said Tullow Oils’ Chief Operating Office, Paul McDade.

“We have appointed a highly experienced project team to work on a permanent solution while our operations team continues to ensure we have in place safe and sustainable arrangements for production from the field.”

McDade concluded, “Given the ability to continue production and because we have the appropriate insurance policies in place, we do not expect that this issue will have a material impact on our revenue.”

Tullow Oil Jubilee Field Video