In 2017, our Australia oil business exceeded its targets on three key fronts – safety, reliability and production.
The crews aboard our fleet of three floating production storage and offloading (FPSO) facilities, backed by onshore support, certainly met their objective of optimising performance. In fact, as Niall Myles, the senior vice president of our Australia Operating Unit (AOU), put it: “They nailed it.
“There is a lot of hard work behind these results,” Niall says. “High standards were set and met. “The focus and forward thinking of everyone involved has been fantastic. The FPSOs made and continue to make an amazing contribution to our AOU.”
Together, the Okha, Ngujima-Yin and Nganhurra achieved 95% reliability, a 14% improvement on the year before. This contributed to higher-than-projected production, with 18% more barrels of oil delivered than planned. And it was all achieved amid improved safety performance, including no tier 1 or 2 hydrocarbon releases and more than a year without any recordable injuries on two of the assets.
Gerard Ransom, our asset manager for Australia oil, highlights the broad and enduring team effort behind these outcomes. “It is the culmination of many years’ work,” he says “I started on the FPSOs in early 2017 and my immediate and overwhelming impression was of a great team of people who are really proud of their assets. “And that impression is reinforced every day.”
Gerard points out that each of the three assets faces unique challenges and meets them with drive and determination. “For example, Nganhurra is a great example of how Woodside is flexible enough to manage smaller late-life assets just as successfully as we do with the big new LNG facilities,” he says.
“Early in 2017, we made the decision to extend production from the facility by 12 months, with final production now scheduled for Q4 of this year. “This decision recognised the asset’s outstanding safety, production and cost performance. “It also required a significant change in plans, including the addition of a significant shutdown late last year to execute maintenance needed to get us through 2018. “The team managed all this really well and repaid the confidence we have in them with another great year.”
Okha moved into 2017 on the back of a challenging year in which the 2016 drydock campaign had kept the vessel offline for several months. “The efforts to move forward from this and deliver their best ever reliability performance in 2017 shows the pride they have in their asset and their absolute focus on getting the best from it,” Gerard says. "The fact that Peter Coleman, our chief executive officer, made an overnight trip to meet some of the people behind this great result is fitting.”
Ngujima-Yin is another very busy asset, with the crew preparing for a drydock campaign scheduled to start in June this year. This campaign is part of the Greater Enfield Project, which will more than double the daily production from our Australian oil facilities, when it starts up in 2019.
“The team has been working really hard to prepare themselves for this campaign, all the while delivering safely and reliably,” Gerard says. “This commitment to setting the scene for success stands us in good stead.”
Gerard says the teams across the fleet of FPSOs are dedicated to sustaining or improving on their 2017 results. “2018 promises to be another busy year on the floaters, with significant activity across all three facilities,” he says. “And we’re looking forward to the challenge. “Given the capability and spirit of the teams we have working on and supporting our FPSOs, we are on target to deliver great things.”
Trunkline Q1 2018