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Salamader Halts Bualuang Oil Production Due to a Damaged FPSO Riser

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Salamander Energy reported Wednesday that due to a damaged production riser, production from the Bualuang oil field in the B8/38 concession in the Gulf of Thailand has been temporarily shut-in.

During bad weather conditions, the Rubicon Vantage FPSO drifted into the exclusion zone designed to protect the production infrastructure. The Vantage’s mooring chains then came into contact with, and damaged, the production riser resulting in a small amount of oil being observed on the surface. Production was immediately halted and operations commenced to clean up the discharge, estimated to be approximately 20 barrels. The situation was contained and all oil was successfully dispersed within a five hour period.

Further inspection work and repairs are underway. The FPSO owner has made arrangements for a new production riser to be fitted if required, which on current schedule would see production re-commence around Jan. 25. Salamander does not anticipate that it will incur any significant repair costs.

Development drilling is not impacted by these events and the Atwood Mako (400' ILC) jackup remains on the Bravo platform and is currently drilling the BB-02H well. Salamander will use the opportunity provided by this period of downtime to accelerate planned maintenance and has rescheduled some of the hook up work on the recently installed process modules. The new FSO, that will be installed later this year, will have a turret mooring system with 360 degree swivel capability with no need for an exclusion zone and hence the risk of this kind of incident being repeated will be removed.

Despite the shut-in the Group’s production forecast for 2014 remains unchanged with production expected to average between 13,000 and 16,000 barrels of oil equivalent per day (boepd).

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