Wednesday, 4 April 2018

Gov’t caution operators against shutdown of FPSOs…. Says taking a toll on revenue

Image result for fpso
Adnan Adams Mohammed

Government has cautioned the Jubilee Partners not to entertain too many shutdowns of the Floating Processing Storage and Offloading FPSO vessels.

The government concludes that, the continuous shutdowns has a serious effect on government’s revenue, hence, authorising the partners to devise ways of solving the problem permanently.

“The shutdowns have so much effects on us. Even when gas from Sankofa comes on stream the shutdowns will still have effect in terms of revenue that we get to undertake development activities. Therefore it is in our interest to work together and ensure these problems are permanently resolved,” the deputy Minister of Energy, Mohammed Amin Adams has said.

He was however hopeful that, Tullow will work harder until a permanent solution is found to the problem by next year.

The deputy minister was speaking to the media in Takoradi after a working visit to the Jubilee Fields with stakeholders in the industry including VRA, GRIDCo, GNPC, Ghana Gas and Petroleum Commission ahead of the second shutdown of the Kwame Nkrumah FPSO in May.

Amin Adam and the team had early visited the Kwame Nkrumah FPSO to assess the level of work done so far following the first shutdown.

He assured the shutdown of the Kwame Nkrumah Floating, Production, Storage and Offloading (FPSO) in May this year will not affect power generation that much.

“The previous shutdown had some effect because even though gas was available from TEN, Ghana Gas was going through maintenance and that compelled the Volta River Authority to use other means which included buying more crude oil to be able to address the power short fall at that time.

“This time around, we will not have that problem because Ghana Gas is operating and therefore TEN, is going to give us 60million standard cubic feet daily,” Mr. Adams assured.

He said the ministry is working hard to ensure that there is a seamless shift from the shutdown period to the point where gas will be stored for Jubilee.

The shutdown is part of a programme by the Jubilee partners to continue a remedial plan to correct the defective mooring system (anchoring system) of the vessel.

This will be the fourth time the production platform will be shut down in three years. Its first shutdown in 2016 exacerbated the power shortage problem the country was facing at the time.

Meanwhile, the government has given an assurance that power generation and supply will not suffer any shortfall during this shutdown because the country’s second independent oil field, the Tweneboa, Enyenra and Ntomme (TEN) Fields, will fill the void to sustain the supply of gas to onshore gas processing plants at Atuabo to feed thermal generation units at Aboadze.

Briefing the media after the tour, Dr Adam said the gas export system of the TEN fields were already connected to the flow lines that transmitted gas to the Atuabo gas processing facility and was ready to export more than 60 million standard cubic feet (mmscf) of gas daily for processing.

He said although in the past the shutdowns had led to some shortfall, the current plan would be well covered and the country would not feel the effect.

He said the first shutdown for this year was last month and it coincided with the schedules of Ghana Gas and, therefore, came with slight hitches.

“I must say that with the current plan, we are safe. In the previous shutdown, although gas was available from TEN, the main processor, Ghana Gas, unfortunately shut down for its mandatory planned maintenance and, therefore, could not receive and process gas,” he added.

That situation, he said, compelled the national power generator, the Volta River Authority (VRA), to resort to expensive light crude oil for power generation.

Currently, Mr Adam said, the Ghana Gas plant was ready to receive gas from TEN.

“I can assure the nation that there will be a seamless shift from the day of the shutdown to the day of restoration of production,” he stressed.

The Managing Director of the lead operator of the Jubilee Fields, Tullow Ghana, Mr Charles Darku, took the stakeholders through the scope of work to get the mooring system back in shape.

He described the previous shutdowns as successful and gave an idea about the partners’ preparation for this year’s second shutdown in May.

As the lead operator, he said, Tullow would continue to offer efficient production operations, while working on a permanent solution, which, he explained involved converting the FPSO into a spread-moored vessel.

In June 2016, Tullow and its partners established the long-term need to convert the FPSO into a permanently spread-moored facility.

The Jubilee turret remediation work is progressing as planned and the FPSO was spread-moored on its current heading in February 1, 2018.

The partners set the next phase of the project to involve the stabilisation of the turret bearing which would take between four and six weeks of shutdown in the first quarter of 2018.

The capital costs associated with the remediation works are being covered by the Joint Venture Hull and Machinery insurance policy.

The final phase will involve rotating the FPSO to its permanent heading and carrying out the final spread-mooring, to take place by the end of 2018.