Gryphon Alpha resumes production

Just under two and a half years after coming off station in a storm, Maersk Oil's Gryphon Alpha FPSO has been brought back on production.

The vessel, stationed about 280km north east of Aberdeen in the North Sea, has undergone a major overhaul in dry dock, infield subsea infrastructure has been removed and replaced and a 4D seismic campaign carried out over the Gryphon Area in that time.

The project, one of the biggest in the North Sea during 2012, was sparked when the Gryphon Alpha was damaged in a storm on February 4, 2011. 

Four anchor chains broke and the vessel moved off station, causing damage to subsea equipment and resulting in the FPSO having to be towed away to dry dock at Damen shipyard in Rotterdam for repairs and upgrades. 

While work started on removing and replacing the damaged subsea equipment, Maersk Oil was also designing, procuring, installing and rebuilding simultaneously. 

Maersk Oil also took the opportunity to acquire an extensive 4D seismic program over the wider Gryphon Area, gained operatorship of the Maclure field and conducted a drilling campaign on the Tulloch field.

“The storm and resultant damage was a distressing and unwelcome event but along with critical repairs we have succeeded in using this incident to bring forward an upgrade of the installation and extend the productive life of Gryphon for another decade," says Martin Rune Pedersen, managing director, Maersk Oil UK.

"The sheer size of this major re-instatement project should not be underestimated; with significant overhauls and upgrades to tanks, positioning and mooring systems, process control, power management and the subsea infrastructure.

"Managing a major and challenging re-development like this in less than two and a half years with a first-rate safety record was a significant achievement by the project team.

"We are now looking forward to a high level of drilling activity over the next couple of years, allowing us to maximise value from the reservoirs,” adds Pedersen.

Maersk Oil says once all the associated fields are fully operational, production will ramp up to more than 20,000 boe/d. 

The Gryphon area comprises the Gryphon, North and South Gryphon, Tullich and Maclure fields. These fields are all tied back to the Gryphon Alpha FPSO. 

Partners in the Gryphon field are Maersk Oil (operator) 86.5% and Sojitz 13.5%. Operatorship of the Maclure field transferred from BP to Maersk Oil on 16 April 2013. 


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