OMV set to resume Maari output

Oil company OMV is set to progressively resume production from the Maari oil field offshore New Zealand following repairs at a wellhead platform. 

The Maari field is located 80km off the Taranaki coast in water depths of about 100m. It is operated by OMV New Zealand (69%) on behalf of the Maari JV which includes Todd Maari (16%), Horizon Oil International (10%), and Cue Taranaki (5%).

The company stopped production in late November last year as a precaution, following discovery of a crack in one of the wellhead platform’s 12 horizontal struts during a scheduled inspection.

Cue said on Thursday that, as an intermediate solution devised by specialist advisors AMOG, three clamps were installed in December by air divers. Fitzroy Engineering and NZ Diving and Salvage were both contracted to undertake the repair. This secured the damaged strut on level 3, about 4 meters below the waterline. The repair was independently verified by Lloyds, both during the design phase and post-installation.

According to Cue, OMV has also completed a full electromagnetic inspection of all nodes (strut and leg connections) on level 3 and undertook a Remotely Operated Vehicle (ROV) inspection of the entire platform structure which stands in approximately 100m of water.

Two options for a permanent solution are currently being investigated by AMOG and Worley Parsons (Melbourne). This work is expected to be completed this month and a preferred concept selected, the company said. The subsequent permanent repair will likely be completed by mid-2017. During the interim repair period OMV resumed its planned shutdown maintenance program that had been scheduled to start December 5.

This included completing the replacement of a water injection flowline. Two specialist support vessels, from Maersk and DOF, were contracted for this work. Maintenance work on the field’s production risers (flexible pipes connected between the wellhead platform and the floating production vessel Raroa) was also undertaken during the shutdown.

The company also added that regulatory agencies WorkSafe, Maritime New Zealand and the Environmental Protection Authority were consulted on an on-going basis throughout the work.

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