Australia-based Horizon Oil Limited reported that the operator of the Maari oilfield, OMV New Zealand (OMV), has Friday advised that production at the field will be shut until December while a major facility and equipment upgrade is undertaken.
The FPSO (floating, production, storage and offloading) Raroa, the floating tanker that processes and stores oil at the field, will be disconnected and towed to a suitable New Zealand port to refurbish and upgrade its process equipment. While off station, a new swivel, which allows the vessel to rotate around its mooring, will be installed. A bearing malfunction in the existing swivel was recently identified, requiring the Maari JV to bring forward plans for replacement of this equipment.
The Raroa is currently being prepared for disconnection from station, including removal of all remaining crude oil on board. This task is expected to take several weeks.
At the same time, the opportunity will be taken to replace several of the mooring lines at the field. It had been identified that three of the eight lines were slowly wearing out, one of which was recently repaired. A specialized vessel for this task has been contracted and is being mobilized.
Construction activities in preparation for tie-ins of new wells and the upgrade of the wellhead platform are currently being undertaken, further utilizing the extended shut-in period.
OMV has advised that while there will be a greater than expected short-term deferral of production from doing all the upgrade work together, the decision makes good sense in the long run.
“A scheduled annual shut down for maintenance and construction work was planned in September, and the wider Maari Growth investment programme had already included the purchase, refurbishment and upgrade of the Raroa. Bringing all the work forward into one package now ensures the field facilities will be fully upgraded prior to the first new wells coming on stream early next year.”
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