Operations on the FPSO Kwame Nkrumah have resumed, lead operator of the jubilee oil field, Tullow Oil has announced.
Citi Business News has learnt operations resumed a few days ago. Tullow in March, 2016 was forced to halt operations on the vessel after it detected a damaged turret bearing, following planned routine maintenance works.
Though Tullow had announced it will resume operations on the FPSO in April, it missed its initial April 9th deadline to commence the off-take of gas and further extended the deadline to April 23, 2016 but failed to meet that deadline as well.
The halt in operations forced the oil firm to miss its deadline to commence the off-take of gas in April this year, which led to a deficit in the country’s power supply.
The development led to a cut in gas supply to the AMERI power plant. Tullow however in late April, commenced the offloading of close to 1 million barrels of crude stored on the FPSO Kwame Nkrumah to allow the vessel; to resume production of crude and gas.
A 250, 000 capacity Dynamic Positioning (DP) tanker was used to receive the crude from the FPSO.
Marketing and Communications Head at the Petroleum Commission, Edmund Nartey told Citi Business News, at the time that, “What exist there currently are dynamic positioning vessels that can take only 250,000 barrels and that will take the crude in bits until they had evacuated the FPSO then they can start production because once the vessel is full, then production cannot go on as it is expected.”
However despite the resumption of operations on the FPSO, Tullow says it will only produce 33,000 barrels of crude oil per day as against the 100,000 per day it was producing prior to the shut down.
Speaking to Citi Business News General Manager of Tullow Ghana Charles Darku, said measures have been put in place to stabilize the vessel to allow full resumption of oil production soon.
“We were planning the shutdown for maintenance this occurred so we went through the shutdown which was the planned maintenance activities which we have completed,” “We used that time and sometime after that to consolidate the procedures that we require to be able to off-take the cargo that was onboard the FPSO and start production which as I said production has started.”
“Fixing the problem itself in terms of the bearing, we did say that we are looking to come to a decision on the option to select by the middle of the year.
It could be one of three options that we discussed. It could be an off station solution, a spread moor solution and another one. We will have discussions with the government of Ghana, our partners and all other stakeholders to land that decision for that activity to take place.
But for now we have stabilized the asset so we can produce,” he explained. Charles Darku made the remarks at the sidelines of Tullow’s 5th investor forum, where the oil firm presented its 2015 performance and outlook for 2016 to its shareholders in Ghana.
Though Tullow Oil was not able to pay dividends to its shareholders due to the drop in the world crude oil prices, it posted strong performance in 2015 with an average gross production of 103,000 barrels per day