FPSO Montara Venture; Source: Jadestone Energy

As FPSO repairs near completion, Australian field still on track to come back online this month

With the closing of the general direction for the project, Singapore’s Jadestone Energy has made a significant step towards wrapping up the remaining works related to an FPSO operating at a field in the Timor Sea off Australia and restarting production from this field later this month.

FPSO Montara Venture; Source: Jadestone Energy

Jadestone Energy reported on Wednesday, 8 February 2023, that National Offshore Petroleum Safety and Environmental Management Authority’s review was concluded and the general direction closed while both hull and tank repair activity and the scheduled four-yearly planned topsides maintenance activities on the FPSO Montara Venture, operating on the Montara field offshore Australia, were progressing well.

As a result, operational readiness and production restart are still targeted to occur later in February 2023. 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.

Paul Blakeley, Jadestone Energy’s President and CEO, commented: “The closing of the general direction is a very important step towards restarting production at Montara. As previously reported, we have elected to carry out most of this year’s planned annual shutdown work in parallel with the tank work to maximise efficiency during this period.

“The combined work scope is making good progress and when completed, we will declare operational readiness and deliver a safe restart of production, which is still targeted before the end of this month.”

This comes after the DNV’s independent review of Jadestone’s remediation plans and operational readiness for the FPSO Montara Venture was completed and submitted to NOPSEMA in January 2023, as required by the general direction issued to the company in September 2022. 

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

However, 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, thus, the company decided to temporarily shut-in production from Montara and reorganise offshore manpower on the FPSO while the inspection and repair activities were expected to result in production being shut in during the remainder of August and potentially through September 2022.

When September rolled in, 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.