Tui Oilfield Partners Look to Expand FPSO Fluid Handling Capacity

The Tui oil field partners are looking at greatly expanding the fluid handling capacity of the production vessel moored on the field.

One of the partners, New Zealand Oil & Gas (NZOG), said in its September quarter report that the joint venture is discussing modifications to the production vessel, the FPSO Umuroa, which would increase its fluid handling capacity to 180,000 barrels a day.

This would allow more oil to be recovered at a faster rate from the current reservoirs and also provide the flexibility to tie-in any future nearby discoveries.

As expected, there continues to be a gradual increase in the production of associated water with the oil. This is now limiting the maximum oil recovery rate to around 32,000 barrels a day.

In the September quarter, the Tui oil fields performed in line with expectations, producing 3.15 million barrels of oil (mmbbls). NZOG's share was a little over 390,000 barrels.

By the end of September, Tui's total production since start up on July 2007 had reached 17.38 mmbbls. The initial proven and probable (2P) reserves are currently estimated to be 50.1 mmbbls.

NZOG said that as the fallout from the US financial crisis reverberates around the world, the company finds itself in a position of financial strength to not only weather the storm, but also to take advantage of some of any opportunities tossed up.

The fall of the New Zealand dollar against the US dollar had lessened some of the impact on revenue reported in NZ dollars.

A graph in the report shows that when the price of the regional Tapis benchmark crude, which Tui oil is sold against, hit a peak of US$150 a barrel in July the price in New Zealand dollars touched almost NZ$200 a barrel.

But when Tapis crude had dropped to US $90 by October, the price in New Zealand currency was NZ$150.

The PEP 38499 area immediately south of the Tui field has been relinquished by the Tui partners after interpretation of new seismic.