Jadestone shuts down Montara field for maintenance and inspection

Oil and gas company Jadestone Energy has announced a maintenance and inspection shutdown of its Montara oil field located offshore Australia.

The Montara project is located in Production Licenses AC/L7 and AC/L8 in the Timor Sea, approximately 690 kilometers west of Darwin, 630 kilometers north of Broome and 250 kilometers north-west from the Kimberley coastline of Western Australia in water depth of 77 meters.

Jadestone announced the acquisition of the Montara field stake from Thailand’s PTTEP in July 2018 and completed the acquisition in September.

Jadestone said on Thursday that, since the completion of the acquisition of Montara, the company had been working closely with PTTEP who remains the operator of Montara, during a transition period, in line with the normal regulatory approval process for operatorship transfer.

Since the start of transition, which started early last month, Jadestone has identified a backlog of maintenance and inspection activities that need to be addressed, and a decision was taken to undertake a voluntary shutdown from November 1, 2018 to undertake the required work.


Shut-down accelerated


The company and PTTEP had already scheduled a planned shut-down, but chose to accelerate this, in order to manage the maintenance work as efficiently as possible, Jadestone said. The decision has been supported by NOPSEMA, the Australian offshore regulator, and among the scope of work being executed are overdue inspections, regular maintenance, and three specific areas of remediation which will address issues previously raised by NOPSEMA about the continued safe operation of the facility.

The company and PTTEP have also taken the decision to bring forward maintenance work planned for 2019 and the company now anticipates that following this shut-down event, further major planned maintenance shutdowns will not be required until at least the second half of 2020. This should enable the company to realize operational efficiencies and increase uptime through the course of next year and into 2020.

A restart of production is expected in early December.

Paul Blakeley, Jadestone President and CEO, commented: “Working closely with PTTEP, we have built a shutdown work scope to catch up on inspection work to ensure the ongoing safe and reliable operation of Montara.

“The Montara operations team, which has now been supplemented by several senior members of the Jadestone operations team, seconded into the PTTEP organization, have prioritized a number of items that warrant immediate inspection and/or maintenance.  In our view there was a window of opportunity to bring much of our 2019 shutdown work scope forward, clear up an excessive backlog of inspection work, and to set the asset up for successful operations with improved uptime going forwards. After a month of detailed assessment, we have chosen the most efficient way to get the asset in good shape to deliver the value proposition we have identified.”

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