FPSO Montara Venture; Source: Jadestone Energy

Australian FPSO comes online but storage capacity ‘constrained’ with repairs ongoing

Singapore-headquartered oil and gas company Jadestone Energy has restarted production from a floating production storage and offloading (FPSO) vessel in the Timor Sea offshore Australia. However, the storage capacity is limited and will not return to its full potential until tank defect repairs are out of the way.

FPSO Montara Venture; Source: Jadestone Energy

The most recent issues started on 29 July 2023 when a gas alarm was triggered within ballast water tank 4S on the FPSO Montara Venture, indicating possible communication with one of the adjacent tanks within the FPSO. Due to this, the production from the Montara fields was temporarily interrupted.

The initial inspection pointed out the location of “a small defect” between tank 4S and oil cargo tank 5C. Since then, steps have been undertaken to repair the 4S/5C defect. In line with the previously disclosed timeline, the production at Montara restarted on 1 September 2023.

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According to Jadestone, the initial production averaged around 1,000 bbls/d from one well while the FPSO’s oil production and gas compression systems were recommissioned. With further wells being brought back online in recent days, production has increased to about 8,000 bbls/d, which includes some flush production. The company expects the average Montara production to return to pre-shutdown levels of approximately 6,000 bbls/d over the coming days.

Furthermore, the ballast water tank 4P has been returned to service, following the completion of final inspections and repairs. In addition, the preparations for the repair of the defect between oil cargo tank 5C and ballast water tank 4S are underway while the additional inspections in tank 4S are ongoing.

“The company will now utilise a smaller and lower-cost shuttle tanker to provide additional storage during a period of time when the FPSO storage capacity is constrained,” explained Jadestone.

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.