ExxonMobil Exploration and Production Malaysia Inc., an ExxonMobil subsidiary, announced the startup of the Tapis enhanced oil recovery (EOR) project.
Operations began with water-alternating-gas injection from the recently installed Tapis R central processing platform into targeted wells on the existing Tapis A platform.
The Tapis EOR project is Malaysia’s first large-scale enhanced oil recovery project and will utilise the immiscible water-alternating-gas process to recover remaining oil reserves from the Tapis field by gradually sweeping remaining oil to the producing wells, increasing the overall recovery of the field.
“This project exemplifies ExxonMobil’s leadership in technology application and global project execution excellence to maximise reserves recovery from producing fields in partnership with PETRONAS and PETRONAS Carigali Sdn Bhd,” said See Kok Yew, ExxonMobil Exploration and Production Malaysia Inc. president and chairman of the ExxonMobil Subsidiaries in Malaysia.
“This is a historic milestone for Malaysia as it is our country’s first large-scale, full-field offshore implementation of water-alternating-gas injection techniques to improve oil recovery, and in parallel, work is being done to rejuvenate existing facilities to extend the life of the Tapis field,” See said.
The water-alternating-gas process is an enhanced oil recovery technique where water injection and gas injection are carried out alternately for periods of time to provide better sweeping efficiency of the oil reservoir. The water-alternating-gas process will be carried out progressively to cover the entire Tapis field over time.
The Tapis EOR project and Telok gas development project, which was brought onstream in March 2013, were announced as the first entry point projects in the oil, gas and energy sector of the National Key Economic Areas set by the government under Malaysia’s Economic Transformation Programme.
The Tapis EOR project is one of the largest offshore EOR projects in Southeast Asia, representing a RM8 billion investment by ExxonMobil and its joint-venture partner PETRONAS Carigali Sdn Bhd (PCSB) to help ensure reliable and sustainable energy supplies for Malaysia.ExxonMobil and PCSB each hold a 50 percent participating interest in the project.
Fully designed and constructed in Malaysia by local contractors, fabrication activities for the Tapis EOR project began in November 2011.
The main component of the project is the Tapis R central processing platform comprised of a large integrated deck structure with living quarters for 145 personnel, and equipped with 390 million cubic feet per day gas compression and 270,000 barrels per day water injection facilities, production-processing equipment, and utilities systems. Tapis R is the first platform installed by ExxonMobil Exploration and Production Malaysia Inc.using the floatover method for its topsides. The combined topsides and jacket, which were installed in May 2014, weigh about 23,500 metric tonnes, making it the heaviest platform constructed in Malaysia by the company.
To date, the Tapis EOR project has recorded about 24 million total workhours through the various phases without any lost-time injuries despite the scale and complexity of the project. The highest safety standards were employed during all stages of execution, reflecting ExxonMobil’s strong commitment and focus on safety excellence.
Other new facilities installed as part of the Tapis EOR project include the Tapis Q riser platform and access bridges linking Tapis Q with Tapis R and the existing Tapis B platform. In addition, a 50-kilometre network of in-field pipelines and undersea cables were installed to enable gas and water injection and full well stream production from the existing Tapis platforms, and to export production from Tapis R.
Modifications and retrofit work on the existing Tapis platforms will continue, with facilities upgrade and well-work restoration to expand water-alternating-gas process coverage to the entire field to gain maximum benefits.