Petronas announces major development work using Seabed Geosolutions

Malaysia’s Petronas and oilfield services giant Baker Hughes are set to embark on a water-alternate-gas enhanced oil recovery project under a proposed two-phase re-development of the mature D-18 oilfield off Sarawak. 

The first phase is understood to centre on water injection through a jack-up facility to go on charter for up to five years. The jack-up will be bridge-linked to the current D-18 production platform and new water-injection and gas-lift pipelines will connect the central D-18 facility to two existing satellite platforms in the field. About 9000 barrels per day of water will initially be injected from the jack-up facility into four planned wells via the three platforms. The intent is to ramp up the volume of water injected to an average of 66,000 bpd through the rest of the D-18’s productive life.

The re-development plan also entails the drilling of around five oil producers and the replacement of existing flowlines connecting the three platforms to facilitate water injection and intra-field crude export. Petronas and Baker Hughes have commissioned Fugro’s Seabed Geosolutions for a six-month ocean bottom cable survey under a US $70 million contract from the first quarter of this year in preparation for mapping out the subsea pipeline network for the D-18 re-development. The survey will also be extended to the seabed overlapping with neighbouring Bayan and Temana production facilities. A separate front-end engineering and design study contract awarded to RNZ – the Malaysian engineering arm of UK-listed Petrofac – is understood to be close to completion.

The project owners are expected to float a tender for the supply of the leased jack-up water-injection facility later this year. In addition to water injection capabilities, the leased jack-up will feature sea-water treatment equipment and accommodation for 40 people. The lease contract – running for a fixed three-year term plus two one-year extensions – will also include an option for the project owners to acquire the jack-up.

D-18 was discovered by Shell in 1981 and entered production in 1986, when Shell handed over the field to Petronas. Output from the mature field is presently exported through the Bayan and Temana platforms to the Bintulu crude oil terminal.