Fenix platform; Source: Wintershall Dea

TotalEnergies inches closer to first gas as platform installation off Argentina wraps up

With the installation of its new offshore platform, France’s energy giant TotalEnergies has come a step closer to the start of production from a gas project located 60 km off the coast of Tierra del Fuego in southern Argentina. Currently, the first gas from the project is expected by the end of 2024.

Fenix platform; Source: Wintershall Dea

After TotalEnergies made a final investment decision (FID) for the Fenix gas development project, Rosetti Marino secured an engineering, procurement, construction, and commissioning (EPCC) contract for a platform, consisting of a topside, jacket, and foundation piles for the production of 10 million m3/day of gas. In January 2024, the jacket and topside left the firm’s yard and set sail toward Tierra del Fuego.

The deck was transported from the Rosetti Marino shipyard in Italy to Tierra del Fuego within a month on board the HTV Interocean II heavy-load carrier vessel. Afterward, four vessels, led by Heerema’s Aegir heavy lift vessel, worked together to install both parts of the platform. TotalEnergies operates the Fenix project with a 37.5% interest, in partnership with WintershallDea (37.5%) and Pan American Sur (25%).

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According to Wintershall Dea, all work related to the installation of the Fénix platform in 70-meter water depth was completed safely and without incident. However, the logistics and the installation of the 4,800-ton platform were carried out in two phases due to the size of the project.

The first stage, which covered the installation of the jacket with four piles in January, was followed by the successful lift and setting of the 1,500-ton deck topside. The platform is designed to be operated from shore without the need for a permanent crew.

Manfred Boeckmann, Managing Director of Wintershall Dea Argentina, commented: “The successful installation of the production platform marks another significant milestone for the Fénix field development, which keeps the project on track for the planned first gas in 4Q 2024.

“Fénix represents a material pillar for the growing domestic gas production and will support Argentina to meet the increasing demand and to offset imports, by contributing significant natural gas volumes for more than 15 years to the country’s long-term energy supply.”

Furthermore, the deck of the Fénix platform, which entails a surface area of 2,500 square meters, consists of five levels: the helipad, the upper deck, the main deck with the wellheads and instrument room, and the lower deck.

Mariano Cancelo, Vice President Production and Development at Wintershall Dea in Argentina, said: “With the installation of the platform we have completed the surface facilities part of the Fénix development project within the targeted schedule. Our focus will now switch to the next step, which is the drilling of three production wells.”

Moreover, the drilling of the wells is expected to be executed with a jack-up drilling rig, which will be temporarily located next to the Fénix platform. The first gas production is envisaged in November 2024. Fénix is part of the world’s southernmost gas production concession CMA-1.