Construction of Byron’s SM 71 tripod restarts as Harvey passes

After the passage of Hurricane Harvey, construction operations on the Byron Energy-operated SM 71 tripod platform at the Laredo yard have resumed in Galveston, Texas. 

Byron is the operator of the South Marsh Island 71 (SM 71) development in the U.S. Gulf of Mexico with a 50 percent working interest and 40.625 percent net revenue interest. Otto Energy holds the remaining interest.

To remind, Byron in August 2016 entered a deal to buy from Laredo Construction a production facility through which it will develop its Gulf of Mexico gas discovery, the SM 71. Byron bought a used tripod jacket, decks, helideck, boat landing and production equipment and Laredo agreed to make the necessary modifications and refurbish the production equipment as needed for production.

Otto informed on Thursday that no significant damage had been reported in the wake of Hurricane Harvey. Construction operations have now resumed on the SM 71 tripod decks and jacket at the Laredo yard.

Further according to Otto’s statement, as of noon August 30, 2017, (Galveston time), an initial 10-man crew had resumed work installing interconnect piping and instrument and electrical equipment in preparation for anticipated load out and setting of the tripod jacket and decks in late October 2017.

No significant damage is reported in the Laredo Construction yard, which is located on Pelican Island adjacent to the Galveston Ship Channel, due to Hurricane Harvey which passed through the area beginning on August 25, 2017. The storm produced over 20 inches (50 cm) of rain and high winds in the Galveston area over a five-day period. Storm related damage and reported rainfall amounts were much greater north of Galveston, Otto said.

The workforce is expected to return to its full complement of 35 workers over the next few days as road conditions in the area improve. Nearly all the production equipment is now fully fabricated and either in the construction yard or will be delivered next week.

Currently, work is concentrated on completing the installation of interconnect piping and all the instrumentation and electronics in preparation for restacking the decks. Once the decks are stacked in the next two weeks, intra-level piping connections will be made and once hooked up, all equipment will be cycled and tested prior to load out. Current estimates of load out for installation are the second half of October 2017.

Otto’s Managing Director, Matthew Allen, commented: “We are extremely pleased that there are no reports of major injury or damage and that construction has recommenced so quickly after such a devastating storm event. We greatly appreciate the determination and efforts of all the people involved to get back to work so quickly in order to keep the project on schedule for production in January 2018 in what must be difficult circumstances.”

Earlier this week, Byron obtained an extension of a term over the SM 71 lease. The lease was due to expire on July 31, 2017, and Byron had requested a suspension of production (SOP) from the Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement (BSEE).

The extension of the lease term would give Byron time to complete platform construction, install, and hook up new production facilities and lay production pipelines. The SOP request was granted by the BSEE on Tuesday and was effective from August 1, 2017, through November 30, 2017. The approved SOP was based on an activity schedule submitted by Byron.

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