Jadestone in final stages of testing for Montara restart

After some delay, Jadestone Energy has completed the works required for the restart of production from the Montara oil field located offshore Australia, following an extensive maintenance and inspection shutdown.

Jadestone bought the Montara project stake from Thailand’s PTTEP in July 2018 and completed the deal in September. During this transition period, PTTEP remains the operator of Montara.

After identifying a backlog of maintenance and inspection activities, Jadestone shut down production at Montara at the beginning of November.

Jadestone previously expected to restart production in December. However, the production still has not restarted.

According to Jadestone’s statement on Friday, January 4, work has been completed and the facilities are undergoing the final stages of pressure testing to ensure asset integrity and a safe restart of production.

Jadestone said that the oil train has been successfully leak tested and the gas train is now being tested so that both can start together, enabling immediate gas-lift and gas re-injection so as to optimize production operations, as rapidly as possible. The documentation required to lift the various improvement notices, prohibition notice and direction letter issued by NOPSEMA, are in the process of being evaluated by the regulator to allow the facility to reintroduce hydrocarbons. That close-out is anticipated within days.

The company noted that the conclusion of this maintenance and inspection activity will result in improved facility reliability and uptime going forwards, resulting in no major planned shutdowns until at least H2 2020.


Operatorship transfer


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, while all critical leadership positions in the operation are now filled with Jadestone secondees.

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

Paul Blakeley, President and CEO commented: “I’m pleased that the shutdown of the Montara assets has been safely concluded, which now completes all overdue inspection and maintenance items which we identified during the initial weeks after closing the transaction with PTTEP. During the shutdown, Montara personnel logged more than 9,000 hours of work, all executed without a single safety incident.”

Blakeley added: “In addition to resolving the regulatory non-compliance notices, which in our view now safeguards the integrity and reliability of the Montara assets, we have worked closely with NOPSEMA, the offshore regulator, to satisfy their concerns as laid out in Direction Notice 0732, and are waiting for their final support to a full restart of production.”

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