Tullow confirms damage on Jubilee FPSO turret bearing

Oil and gas company Tullow Oil said on Friday that, following an issue with the turret bearing on the Jubilee field, offshore Ghana, an investigation has confirmed that the turret has been damaged. 

Namely, Tullow identified the potential issue with the turret bearing in February which was followed by a change to operating procedures at the Jubilee field FPSO.

According to the oil company’s statement on Friday, technical investigation of the condition of the turret bearing on the FPSO Kwame Nkrumah has confirmed that the bearing has been damaged and is no longer able to rotate as originally designed. Oil production and gas export can continue but under revised operating and off-take procedures.

The company said that a root cause analysis was ongoing and a project team was assessing which long-term remediation option was most appropriate. Initial feasibility studies by the team have confirmed that the bearing issue can be fully resolved, Tullow stated.

Tullow explained that the FPSO Kwame Nkrumah has now been placed on “heading control” through the use of tugs which minimise vessel movement around the bearing. New operating procedures, including the use of a dynamically-positioned shuttle tanker (capacity of 250,000 barrels of oil) and a storage tanker (capacity of 1 million barrels of oil), are being implemented to assure safe production and off-take operations, the company said.

“Although all necessary equipment for the new operating procedures, including the two tankers, are in place, it is important that additional time and due care is taken to implement new procedures and receive required approvals,” Tullow said.

The company informed that its current estimate for a production re-start is in approximately two weeks time and will also take time to ramp-up.

Tullow added that the company has a comprehensive package of insurances in place, including Hull and Machinery insurance, procured on behalf of the Joint Venture which covers relevant operating and capital costs associated with damage to the FPSO, and Business Interruption insurance which covers consequent loss of production and revenue. Claims under both policies have been notified to the insurers, said Tullow.

Paul McDade, Chief Operating Officer, commented today: “We are focused on resolving this issue with the bearing on the FPSO Kwame Nkrumah in a timely and safe manner. We have appointed a highly experienced project team to work on a permanent solution while our operations team continues to ensure we have in place safe and sustainable arrangements for production from the field.

“Given the ability to continue production and because we have the appropriate insurance policies in place, we do not expect that this issue will have a material impact on our revenue.”

Tullow is the operator of the field with 35.48% interest. Tullow’s partners are Kosmos and Anadarko, each with 24.08% interest, and GNPC and Petro SA with 13.64% and 2.73% interest, respectively.

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