FPSO Montara Venture; Source: Jadestone Energy

Another plot twist creates roadblock for production restart from Australian FPSO

After completing the planned four-yearly topsides maintenance programme for an FPSO operating at a field in the Timor Sea off Australia, Singapore’s Jadestone Energy has found some inconsistencies in standard fittings, thus, the firm is working on fixing these issues.

FPSO Montara Venture; Source: Jadestone Energy

Following a small oil leak from a crude oil tank on the FPSO Montara Venture, Jadestone initiated the shutdown of production from the Montara field in July 2022. After an interim repair of the leak point in the 2C tank, Jadestone restarted production from the field while a permanent repair was being advanced.  

However, the company decided to shut in production from Montara once again, after an additional internal defect in the water ballast 4S tank was detected in August 2022 during preparations for the permanent repair of the 2C tank.

Come September 2022, Jadestone confirmed that progress was made in implementing a remediation plan for the FPSO, but was unable to provide a date for the restart of production from the Montara field until January 2023, when the firm disclosed that the restart was anticipated in February 2023.

The plot thickened further when the company revealed at the end of February 2023 that severe weather conditions delayed the restart of production from the field, which was previously expected by the end of February.

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In an update on Thursday, 16 March 2023, Jadestone Energy outlined that recent activities related to the Montara field were focused on the planned four-yearly topsides maintenance programme, following the final tank inspection and repairs on the FPSO Montara Venture and the lifting of the NOPSEMA’s general direction.

According to the company, the topsides maintenance programme workstreams were completed successfully, thus, the firm embarked on progressing production restart activities.

While performing necessary testing on process equipment during restart activities, Jadestone highlights that a small number of inconsistencies in standard fittings were identified and are currently being rectified to ensure safe operation.  

The firm expects this activity to be completed in approximately one week, thus, a further announcement will be made when production resumes.

The Jadestone-operated and owned Montara project, encompassing three separate fields – MontaraSkua and Swift/Swallow – is located in the Timor Sea offshore Australia approximately 690 kilometres west of Darwin.