Oil major Shell and Gas Networks Ireland (GNI) are working to resolve a gas disruption problem at one of the most significant engineering projects ever undertaken in Ireland, the Corrib offshore gas development.
According to a Thursday report by Reuters, unodorized gas entered the network from the country’s Corrib offshore gas field and has curbed output since last week.
This has been confirmed to Offshore Energy Today by a Shell spokesperson in a telephone conversation on Friday.
The Shell spokesperson said: “A technical issue arose in the plant on Thursday, September 22, when a quantity of unodorized gas entered the Gas Networks Ireland’s network.”
According to the Shell spokesperson, GNI on the same day issued an advisory to their gas customers to switch off the gas meters as a precautionary measure because the unodorized gas was in the network.
The spokesperson said the customers were required to switch off gas meters from a safety perspective, because in case of a leak in the household they wouldn’t be able to smell it.
“When the gas comes in from the Corrib field into Bellanaboy Bridge refinery, there is an odor added to the gas so that in the unlikely event of a gas leak happening you can actually smell the gas.”
“GNI advised their customers purely from a precautionary principle to switch of their gas meters and Shell has been working closely with the necessary agencies and with GNI to resolve this situation,” the spokesperson said.
Gas in the GNI network was back flowed to Corrib where it was disposed of in a safe and controlled manner through flaring, the spokesperson explained, adding that flaring continued last Thursday and Friday and over the weekend, and by last Saturday evening GNI was able to advise customers that they could switch the gas back on again.
“Obviously they (GNI) are sourcing gas from elsewhere, hence the reason they were able to offer that advice back to their customers,” the spokesperson said.
Shell has been working on resolving the issue, and an internal investigation has begun, next to those initiated by the relevant Irish regulatory agencies.
The spokesperson would not comment on the production figures nor on the date Shell expects to resolve the Corrib production issue, but said Shell worked to resolve the issue “as soon as possible”
For what it’s worth, the Norwegian oil and gas company Statoil on Friday released info showing the output from the Corrib has been reduced by 9.9 million cubic metres per day, with Statoil expecting the issue to be resolved on October 1, and not, as it had previously expected, on September 30.
Located some 83 kilometers off the northwest coast of County Mayo, the medium sized Corrib gas field was developed as a subsea tie-back facility, connected by a pipeline to an onshore processing terminal. Production from the Corrib gas field started in late December 2015.
The gas from the field is transported to the Bellanaboy Bridge Gas Terminal in north-west Mayo through a 20 inch pipeline. It is then processed at Bellanaboy before it is transferred into the Gas Networks Ireland (GNI) network, which delivers it to Irish gas consumers.
The Corrib Gas Partners are Shell E&P Ireland Limited (45% – operator), Statoil Exploration (Ireland) Limited (36.5%) and Vermilion Energy (18.5%).
Earlier this year, Shell announced an agreement to sell its shares in Shell E&P Ireland Limited, that holds 45% interest in the Corrib gas venture, to a subsidiary of Canada Pension Plan Investment Board (CPPIB) for up to $1.23 billion. The transaction is expected to be completed in the second quarter of 2018.
Offshore Energy Today Staff