Bualuang production restarts

February 13, 2014

Salamander Energy has said damaged risers on the Rubicon Vantage floating production, storage and offloading (FPSO) vessel have been repaired and production from the Bualuang field has restarted.

Bad weather had slowed work to replace riser sections, which damaged when the FPSO came off station in a storm.

The Rubicon Vantage had drifted into an exclusion zone designed to protect the Bualuang oil field production infrastructure in the Gulf of Thailand, earlier this year.

The Rubicon Vantage’s mooring chains came into contact with, and damaged, a production riser. Production was immediately halted and a full inspection has now been completed by divers. 

Development drilling on the rest of the field was not impacted. Salamander is investing in the Bualuang oil field, in Block B8/38. In 2012, it installed a new production platform.

New power and processing modules are being constructed, and are due to be installed on the Bravo wellhead platform early this year. This will aid plans to replace the Rubicon Vantage FPSO with a floating storage and offloading vessel (FSO), to reduce costs.

The new FSO, which will be installed later this year, will have a turret mooring system with 360 degree swivel capability, with no need for an exclusion zone, and hence the risk of this kind of incident being repeated will be removed.

Salamander has signed an LOI with Teekay for an FSO, scheduled to be on location in mid-2014.

It is drilling 16 new development wells on the field, as part of a program started in 2012, to grow production by at least 50%. It also planned to drill six exploration prospects on the nearby G4/50 license.

For the development drilling, Salamander is using the Atwood Mako jackup rig.

According to Salamander, the Bualuang oil field has 46MM bbl recoverable 2P reserves. There is thought to be a further 12MM bbl of resources in reservoirs above and below the main T4 reservoir.

Today, Salamander said is has reached agreement for a new, two year, sales contract for Bualuang crude. 

The agreed pricing is set at a small discount to Dubai benchmark and reflects an improved price relative to the previous agreement. The new price will be backdated to 1st January 2014.



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