Shipyard Fire Puts a Damper on Apache's Van Gogh Development

Apache said today that initial production from the Van Gogh development offshore Western Australia will be delayed after a fire aboard the Ningaloo Vision floating production, storage and offloading (FPSO) vessel at the Keppel Shipyard in Singapore.

The vessel is owned and operated by Prosafe Production Public Ltd. of Limassol, Cyprus, and will be leased by Apache when it is delivered to the Van Gogh field.

The fire, which occurred Saturday morning, damaged instrument technical rooms that house the panels for process control, well control, uninterruptible power and emergency shutdown systems. No one was injured in the fire, which was extinguished by shipyard firefighting personnel. Many of the control systems must be replaced because of heat and water damage.

A revised schedule for completing the conversion and commencing production will be developed after Prosafe Production and Keppel determine the extent of the damage and a timetable for acquiring replacement equipment. Acquisition and installation of the new equipment is expected to take several months.

The Van Gogh field is located 33 miles (53 kilometers) north-northwest of Exmouth. The moored FPSO will be linked to two subsea drill centers with 10 production wells, two water injection wells, and one gas injection well. The Ningaloo Vision will have processing capacity of 63,000 barrels of oil per day and storage capacity of 620,000 barrels of oil. Apache expects the project to boost net production by 20,000 barrels per day.

Apache owns 52.5 percent of the field; Tokyo-based INPEX Corporation owns 47.5 percent.