Tullow Confirms Damage to FPSO Kwame Turret Bearing

Tullow Oil plc has confirmed that the turret bearing on the FPSO Kwame Nkrumah has been damaged and is no longer able to rotate as originally designed, following a technical investigation.

The energy firm stated in a company release that a “root cause analysis is ongoing” and revealed that a project team is assessing which long-term remediation option is most appropriate. Initial feasibility studies by the team have confirmed that the bearing issue can be fully resolved.

FPSO Kwame Nkrumah has now been placed on “heading control" through the use of tugs which minimize vessel movement around the bearing. New operating procedures, including the use of a dynamically-positioned shuttle tanker and a storage tanker, are being implemented to assure safe production and off-take operations.

Commenting on the state of the FPSO, Tullow said in a company statement:

“Although all necessary equipment for the new operating procedures, including the two tankers, are in place, it is important that additional time and due care is taken to implement new procedures and receive required approvals. Safety and protecting the environment remain Tullow’s key priorities. Tullow currently estimates that production from the FPSO will re-start in approximately two weeks’ time and will also take time to ramp-up. Tullow’s production guidance will be re-issued once the new operating arrangements have stabilized.”

Tullow Chief Operating Officer Paul McDade said in a Tullow statement:

“We are focused on resolving this issue with the bearing on the FPSO Kwame Nkrumah in a timely and safe manner. We have appointed a highly experienced project team to work on a permanent solution while our operations team continues to ensure we have in place safe and sustainable arrangements for production from the field. Given the ability to continue production and because we have the appropriate insurance policies in place, we do not expect that this issue will have a material impact on our revenue.”


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