Jadestone restarts Montara production

Jadestone Energy has restarted oil production from the Montara offshore oil field in Australia. The field had been shut for maintenance and inspection since November 2018.

Montara field map / Image source: PTTEP
Montara field map / Image source: PTTEP

Production operations restarted at the Montara facilities on January 11, 2019, and production volumes will be ramped up while final checks are concluded, Jadestone said on Friday.

Jadestone, which bought the Montara field from PTTEP in September 2018 for $195 million, has said that the maintenance and inspection that was carried out during this period would improve the uptime and reliability. The company expects there will be no major planned shutdowns until at least H2 2020.

The Montara field is located in the Timor Sea off Australia approximately 690 kilometers west of Darwin. It comprises three separate fields which are Montara, Skua and Swift/Swallow, produced through a centralized FPSO, the Montara Venture. The average production volume from the field in the first half of 2018 was about 7,694 barrels per day.

To remind, upon taking over the field from PTTEP, Jadestone had identified a backlog of maintenance and inspection activities that need to be addressed and had shut the field in November. A restart of production was expected in early December 2018, however, this was moved to January 2019.

The new owner has said that PTTEP Australasia, as the seller of the Montara assets, has agreed to provide $22 million to Jadestone in relation to this recent shutdown of the Montara facilities, including associated costs, of which approximately US$4 million was directly attributable to shutdown work scope.

Jadestone and PTTEP are continuing to manage the asset under the terms of the operator and transitional services agreement whereby PTTEP, as the duty holder under the currently in-force safety case, continues to operate the Montara assets, with all critical operations leadership positions now filled with Jadestone personnel who have been formally seconded into the PTTEP organization.

In the meantime, the regulator is reviewing Jadestone’s recently submitted Montara safety case and environment plan. Upon approval, the regulator will permit the transfer of operatorship to Jadestone, Jadestone said.

Paul Blakeley, President and CEO commented:“ I’m delighted to see production operations safely resume at the Montara asset and pleased that the work we have completed alleviates the need for any further major planned outages until at least late 2020. Catching up on Montara’s overdue inspection and maintenance tasks and resolving the regulatory non-compliance notices was a prudent step early in Jadestone’s experience with Montara, and serves to enhance the asset’s value.”

Offshore Energy Today staff