The Ningaloo Vision FPSO, which ties in the Van Gogh, Coniston, and Novara oil fields for Santos

Santos restarts production from offshore field trio

Australian energy giant Santos has restarted production from the Ningaloo Vision FPSO following scheduled maintenance in Singapore.

The Ningaloo Vision FPSO, which ties in the Van Gogh, Coniston, and Novara oil fields. Photo source: Inpex

The Ningaloo Vision, which ties in the Van Gogh, Coniston, and Novara oil fields offshore Western Australia, has now started ramping-up its production again and is expected to achieve 10,000 barrels per day in the coming weeks, Santos said in an update on Friday.

Santos Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer, Kevin Gallagher, said the resumption of production comes as the company prepares for the second phase of infill drilling in the Van Gogh field, due to begin in the second quarter this year.

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To remind, Australian petroleum regulator NOPSEMA has recently accepted an environment plan by Santos for the Van Gogh field infill development phase II (VGID2) installation, which will include three new wells.

The Final Investment Decision (FID) for the project was made about a year ago, in March 2020.

“Van Gogh Infill Phase Two is targeting around 10 million barrels gross reserves, with first oil scheduled in the fourth quarter this year”, Gallagher said.

“Preparations for the three-well campaign, using the Valaris MS1 mobile offshore drilling unit, are tracking well, with drilling expected to start within weeks.

The Valaris MS1 semi-submersible rig was hired for the second phase of the infill drilling program.

Gallagher added: “I am pleased to report that the Ningaloo Vision is back on location and producing again, following a challenging dry dock campaign last year when it arrived in Singapore just as the nation was going into three months of lockdown and the maintenance workforce being among the hardest hit by a second wave of the coronavirus pandemic.

“The Ningaloo Vision’s return to production after a successful maintenance program sets the facility up for the next stage of new production from the Van Gogh oil field”.

Production from Van Gogh (WA-35-L) began in 2010, with the nearby Coniston and Novara oil fields tied back to the Ningaloo Vision in 2015 and 2016, respectively.

Santos has a 52.5 per cent interest in the Van Gogh-Coniston-Novara project, which it operates. The remaining interest is owned by Inpex.