The start of production on the East Orovinyare field in Gabon is an innovative project, truly representative of Perenco’s ability to meet new challenges with an original approach and a unique know-how that relies on the ingenuity and creativity of our teams. This is in line with the stated determination of the company to identify and implement alternative solutions.
A strategic project
With the acquisition of the East Orovinyare field discovered by Marathon in 1998, then taken up by the English company GGPC, the objective for Perenco was to optimise its production and thereby become the first oil producer in Gabon with more than 100,000 barrels per day.
For the first time ever, the production project for the three wells (which were drilled and later abandoned by the first operator) was considered cost-effective thanks to cost optimisation measures and through synergy with existing facilities.
Pre-studies started in February 2017. For eight months Geosciences teams and Projects, Drilling, Production and Logistic Departments worked relentlessly together to ensure that EOV could fit into the operational scheme of Perenco Gabon.
An unprecedented lifting operation
At the end of the study and following a complex well recovery (given the age of the drilling facilities and their H2S content) the culmination of this project was the lifting of the future platform 10 km away from the Gabonese coasts. An unprecedented operation that consisted of using Ogma, a former drilling rig, as a lifting platform, rather than chartering a service boat at an exorbitant cost.
After numerous tests to guarantee the feasibility of the operation and its safety, engineers applied their ingenuity to successfully complete this performance, adapt the tool to the platform and the platform to the tool, and cope with many unforeseen events.
Another special feature of the project lies in the routing of the platform elements, i.e. the jacket (250 tons), an intermediate part (35 tons) and the top side (230 tons) to the footstep of Ogma on Barge B57. Barge B57 had transported the structure from the United States to Port-Gentil a few months before. Lifting phases and installing all three elements with the help of divers, welders and all of the technicians took place within the time-limits set, despite unexpected events and uncertain weather.
This technical performance is truly representative of Perenco’s know-how: moving away from standard methodologies, working in perfect synergy between the different operational teams, and showing ingenuity and responsiveness.
A long-term optimisation
The EOV platform is part of an already-operational infrastructure for the Northern fields; namely the FSO Fernan Vaz to secure the storage of its production, the Batanga electrical plant to power its facilities and the pipeline network extended by 1 km.
Since production started, the first two wells have provided 4,000 barrels/day. Drilling teams are already working on reconnecting the 3rd well, while Geosciences teams are studying future projects. 6 million barrels of reserves are expected for 20 million barrels in place.
This technical achievement is part of a strategic project for the group aimed at strengthening the relationship of trust with Gabon and its partners.
EOV in figures
• Start of the project: February 2017
• Lifting operation: October 2017
• Production started: April 2018, 2 wells at launch, 4,000 barrels/day
• Team: over 100 people involved on this project
• EOV platform: 515 tons