More delays for Eni’s Goliat. No oil in 2015?

Italian oil giant Eni is set to delay first oil from its Goliat development in the Barents Sea once again. The field, dubbed the world’s northernmost offshore development, was originally planned for first oil in 2013.

In August this year, Eni Norge said the start of production was just „a few weeks“ away. It is now December, and those few weeks have extended to a few months, with no first oil in sight, or at least not in 2015.

According to Norwegian media, the Goliat is now expected to break another „deadline“ and enter 2016 without any oil produced.

The Petroleum Safety Authority, the country’s oil and gas industry safety watchdog, in November carried out an inspection of the FPSO, and found several irregularities with the electrical systems, and the control of potential sources of ignition that could, in contact with gas or flammable liquids, lead to an explosion.

Offshore.no, a Norwegian-language website covering the country’s offshore oil and gas industry, on Tuesday reported that Eni has called Statoil, a partner in the field, to lend a hand in fixing problems it’s been having with the platform’s electrical installations.

Even if it manages to fix the identified issues, Eni still needs to receive a consent from the authorities to start production, and according to The Wall Street Journal, it could take up to five weeks from consent to first oil, meaning we won’t be seeing the giant FPSO producing oil in 2015.

Offshore Energy Today has reached out to the Petroleum Safety Authority Norway, seeking more info on the matter. We will update the article should we get a response.

The Goliat field, located 85 kilometers offshore Hammerfest, is being developed with a cylindrical floating, production, storage and offloading (FPSO) unit that arrived at the Goliat field location on May 7, 2015, after a short stop-over in the fjord outside Hammerfest. The Goliat FPSO was designed by the Norwegian company Sevan Marine in Arendal and built at the HHI yard in South Korea.

The field is estimated to hold about 174 million barrels of oil. The cost of the development had originally been set at $5.06 billion, but the figure has now surpassed the $6 billion mark.

 

Update: The Petroleum Safety Authority’s response

In a statement sent to Offshore Energy Today, a spokesperson of the Petroleum Safety Authority Norway said:

“Eni Norge has applied for the PSA’s consent to deploy Goliat FPSO, but the consent will not be granted until Eni is able to demonstrate that the company is ready for start-up. We are waiting for this documentation. We are aware that Eni is working flat out to fix all the faults and defects, to allow us to issue consent to start production.

It is, however, not the PSA which is delaying the Goliat project. The project has been subject to large delays, which Eni itself is responsible for. The PSA has followed the company’s progress in parallel, and we have made it clear to Eni Norge that we will not grant consent to use Goliat FPSO until we are confident that the activities can be performed in compliance with statute.”

 

 

Offshore Energy Today Staff

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