Photo: Gumusut-Kakap platform offshore Malaysia; Source: Shell

Unplanned maintenance afoot at Shell’s oilfield off Malaysia

Unplanned maintenance is underway at the Shell-operated deepwater oilfield Gumusut-Kakap, which is located offshore Malaysia.

The field is located within blocks J and K, about 120 kilometres off the coast of Sabah in Malaysia and operated by Shell, which has 33 per cent interest in the field. Other development partners are ConocoPhillips with 33 per cent, Petronas Carigali with 20 per cent and Murphy Oil with 14 per cent. The first production from the field was achieved in 2014.

The Gumusut-Kakap platform produces oil from 19 deep-water wells in a water depth of 1,200 metres (3,900 feet). The floating production system (FPS) tied to the wells has a processing capacity of 150,000 barrels of oil each day and weighs more than 40,000 tonnes. Four giant mooring lines were used to secure the platform against gusting winds at approximately hundreds of kilometres an hour and waves of up to eight metres (25 feet).

​Following a report from Reuters on 30 September 2021, stating that Malaysia’s Petronas reported unplanned maintenance at Kimanis oilfields, which will have a negative impact on the exports of Malaysia’s flagship crude oil Kimanis in the next two months, Offshore Energy reached out to Shell and Petronas for more information.

A spokesperson for Petronas confirmed the Shell-operated Gumusut-Kakap project is currently undergoing an unplanned maintenance exercise and stated: “The operator is working to resolve the matter in ensuring the Kimanis crude oil achieves its peak production. To minimise the impact, Petronas is maximising Kimanis crude oil production from other fields such as Malikai.”

However, Shell has yet to respond to our request for comment. Aside from Gumusut-Kakap, the oil major is also the operator of the Malikai, another deepwater field in the region and Petronas, as a partner, is trying to maximise the field’s oil production.

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Shell is planning to conduct a four-well development campaign on the field. Back in April 2021, Shell awarded a contract to Maersk Drilling’s 7th generation drillship Maersk Viking for the drilling of these four wells. The campaign is scheduled to start in December 2021. The duration is estimated at 150 days, while the value of this contract is around $34 million.