New MOPU en route to Asian offshore oil field

Canada-based oil and gas company Valeura Energy has confirmed that a new mobile offshore production unit (MOPU) is on its way to the Gulf of Thailand, where it will work at its offshore oil field. In addition, the firm has decided to buy a floating storage and offloading vessel (FSO), which is currently working on its field, and expand its drilling program for another field.

MOPU TSeven Shirley; Source: T7 Global

The MOPU TSeven Shirley, which represents T7 Global’s first foray into Thai waters, has now left the shipyard at Qing Dao, China, and embarked on a journey to Valeura’s Nong Yao field in the Gulf of Thailand. Upon arrival, the MOPU is expected to be connected to the pipeline that has been already installed from the existing Nong Yao field infrastructure and will serve as the wellhead production platform for the firm’s Nong Yao C field development. 

Sean Guest, President and CEO of Valeura, commented: “With the deployment of new infrastructure to the field, excitement is building around the development of the Nong Yao C accumulation, which is a major component of our production growth plan for 2024, which we anticipate will elevate our share of Nong Yao production to 11,000 bbls/d. In addition, having the TSeven Shirley MOPU on site provides another platform for us to pursue further appraisal and exploration work in the greater Nong Yao area.” 

Following hook-up and commissioning work, Valeura will conduct an initial drilling program of up to nine development wells – six producers and three water injectors. The first production from the Nong Yao C extension is expected in late 2Q 2024. When fully on stream in the months thereafter, the firm is targeting peak production rates from the greater Nong Yao field, totaling approximately 11,000 bbls/d.

The MOPU TSeven Shirley is based on a jack-up drilling rig hull and customized to suit the requirements of the Nong Yao C accumulation. This MOPU includes a 12-slot well bay, a total design fluid capacity of  20,000 bbls/d, and water injection design capacity of 10,000 bbl/d. Valeura has agreed to charter the MOPU for an initial term of five years, with provisions for extension thereafter.

Located in the central portion of the Pattani basin in the Gulf of Thailand, approximately 160 km offshore, in 75 meters of water depth, the Nong Yao oil field is estimated to contain 12.4 million bbls of 2P oil reserves, on a net working interest acquired basis.

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Furthermore, Valeura has exercised its purchase option to acquire the Nong Yao field’s FSO Aurora, which it previously leased from a member of the Omni Offshore Terminals group, for a purchase price of $19 million. This acquisition will be funded with the firm’s cash resources upon completion of the transaction, anticipated in June 2024. Given the pending expansion of the field and potential future developments, the Canadian player anticipates that owning, as opposed to leasing the FSO, will provide operational flexibility, allowing it to optimize operating expenses.

On the other hand, Valeura, which is currently executing a development drilling campaign on its Wassana field, has opted to expand the scope of the program from three horizontal wells to five, as all three wells drilled so far have encountered their targets in line with expectations. The first two wells have been tested and, in their first seven days of production, resulted in a rise of the total field output to more than 4,000 bbls/d. The third well is expected to be brought online in the coming days. 

Guest continued: “The Wassana field continues to surprise to the upside. When we first acquired the asset, we envisaged that it would take five additional wells to develop the deeper reservoir intervals and to achieve rates of 4,500 bbls/d. With having demonstrated over 4,000 bbl/d with just the first two horizontal wells, and a third to be brought onstream shortly, we are raising our expectations for the potential of the field in the near term. 

“Notably, this success is in advance of the larger-scale redevelopment we are now considering for the Wassana field. The concept select phase of the Wassana re-development project is progressing well, and we anticipate taking an investment decision later this year. Across our portfolio, we continue to find appealing opportunities for organic growth.” 

As a result of the expansions of its drilling program, Valeura intends to continue drilling on the Wassana field to a total of five wells, after which Borr Drilling’s Mist rig will mobilize to the Nong Yao field to begin Nong Yao C development drilling.