UK-listed Africa producer Tullow Oil has said joint venture partners at its Jubilee field offshore Ghana have finally agreed with the government there on a shutdown of the field for repairs lasting between five and eight weeks, now planned for late 2017.
The shutdown, required to stabilise a turret bearing used to offload oil from the Jubilee production ship (FPSO), also impacts the field's gas production.
Tullow had originally expected the shutdown to take place late 2016 but, given that there will be no associated gas piped to shore for a period of weeks during any shutdown period, it has been difficult to secure approval from either the previous or new governments – given the dearth of alternative local or imported gas supplies for the country's power generation facilities. Ghanaians elected a new president last December.
In a trading statement June 28 Tullow said: “Work continues to further reduce the length of this shutdown. Planning for the rotation of the vessel to its optimum heading and the installation of a deepwater offloading system is ongoing and it is anticipated that this work will be executed in two stages in 2018 and 2019. The total shutdown duration for stabilisation, rotation and offloading system installation is not expected to exceed 12 weeks."
It still expects to publish half-year results on July 26. However, in the interim it said its 1H 2017 West Africa Net Oil Production was in line with guidance, expected to average 81,400 b/d net to Tullow, including production-equivalent payments on Jubilee received under its business interruption insurance.
That is expected to include 83,900 b/d gross (net: 29,800 b/d) from Jubilee, and 48,000 b/d gross (net: 22,700 b/d) from its sister field TEN, both Tullow-operated. Its partners in both fields are US firms Kosmos and Anadarko, state Ghana National Petroleum Corporation, and South African state PetroSA.
TEN gas may step in, during Jubilee gas shortfall
One positive aspect, given the scheduled Jubilee gas outage later in 2017, is that Tullow reported June 28 that “the TEN gas manifold has also been installed and commissioned and a gas export trial to Ghana National Gas Company’s facilities has been successfully completed.”
This makes it likelier that some TEN associated gas will be available, when flows from Jubilee are shut in.
Tullow said its West Africa Net Oil production full year guidance of 78,000-85,000 b/d for 2017, including production-equivalent insurance payments, remains unchanged. Europe full year gas production guidance for 2017 is now expected to average between 5,500 and 6,000 boe/d, having been 5,600 boe/d in the year to date which is slightly less than expected due to project delays.
Regarding the western extent of its TEN field licences in Ghana, Tullow said that at final oral hearings at the International Tribunal for the Law of the Sea (ITLOS) in February 2017 between Ghana and Cote d’Ivoire, the tribunal chairman had indicated a final ruling is expected end September 2017.
Tullow-operated Jubilee and TEN field areas (Map credit: Tullow Oil)
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