Gippsland is stepping on the gas

Esso’s Gippsland operations has rolled out a new process to capture opportunities for boosting gas production.


Gippsland is stepping on the gas
Photo — West Tuna Platform. “Today the gas market demand has the potential to take as much gas as our Gippsland operations can produce.”

For half a century Gippsland’s gas production was market constrained,” said Offshore Gas Asset Operations Superintendent Norely Guedez. “That means we were capable of producing more gas than the market wanted.

“Now that is all changed. Today the gas market demand has the potential to take as much gas as our Gippsland operations can produce. This has changed the way we manage our gas assets.

“The Gas Block Asset Level Team is the key enabler to continuously managing risk and capture volumes opportunities.”

Gas Block Surveillance & Optimisation Team Lead Kaneshka Azar said that the team had devised a systematic approach to maximizing gas production.

“We recently launched a SharePoint-based Volumes and Reliability Dashboard that allows us to better track the performance of every aspect of our complex network of gas production facilities offshore,” he said.

“The dashboard captures issues and opportunities regarding safety risks, process safety, well performance, and facilities reliability.

“The first line supervisors and engineers meet regularly to discuss the dashboard and capture opportunities, the Asset Leadership Team completes the ideas-generation screening process and reviews recommended initiatives with Offshore Operations Manager Geoff Humphreys.

“This approach to capturing production opportunities is already delivering some excellent results.”

Out on West Tuna an idle reservoir, Batfish, has been brought back into production, adding potentially up to 650 thousand cubic metres per day of sweet gas, plus significant crude oil volumes to production.

West Tuna Offshore Installation Manager Stephen Bennett said that Batfish oil and gas had originally flowed from a high-pressure production well.

“The reservoir pressure in Batfish was initially high enough to enable flow directly into the gas sales pipeline via dedicated facilities,” he said. 

“Over the years as Batfish reservoir volumes depleted so did the well pressure. Once the pressure dropped to a point whereby it could no longer overcome the gas pipeline pressure the well had to be shut in.

“We have now installed facilities to flow hydrocarbons from the Batfish well into the West Tuna M1 production unit where they are processed and directed to both the oil and gas pipelines together with product from our Kipper and West Tuna wells.”

The platform Operations team were able to reduce the time required for completion of the modifications from five consecutive days to two single days. This change resulted in 1.5 days of partial production loss rather than five days as originally planned.

“We were able to take advantage of a logistical window of opportunity that enabled us to reschedule, split the installation work into two phases and use trade resources that became available at short notice,” said Stephen.

Meanwhile on Bream the surveillance teams were able to significantly increase production from the Bream B-8 well.

“After reviewing all the data on the well, Offshore Installation Manager Ken Gregory and his Operations team suggested that we could safely increase its choke rate from 22 percent up to 55 percent,” said Platform Surveillance Engineer Dusan Matejic.

“So we gradually increased the choke rate while closely monitoring the level of sand production.

“As a result we have increased gas production as well as crude and condensate.

“Right now the B-8 is producing about 60 percent of all Bream crude and condensate.”

Photo — Operators Bob Duggan and Lorentz Birch adjust the Batfish choke valve on West Tuna. “Batfish has been brought back into production adding potentially up to 650 cubic metres per day of sweet gas, plus significant crude oil volumes, to production.”

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