Aker Smart 1 reaches Kakinada by August 13 to 15

Vol 12, PW 6 (07 Aug 08) Exploration & Production

Continued uncertainty over the deployment of the Aker Smart 1 (Floating Production Storage and Offloading) unit at Reliance’s MA field is drawing to a close.

PETROWATCH learns the FPSO is expected at Kakinada port anytime between August 13 and 15. “Aker Smart 1 has left the Jurong shipyard,â€‌ confirms a source.

“Now it is in deepwater anchorage outside Singapore undergoing sea trials.â€‌ Assume seven days sailing from Singapore, and it would be safe to say that by the time you read this piece the long-delayed FPSO will be on the high seas en route to Kakinada.

When will first MA production begin “Getting to MA from Kakinada will be quick,â€‌ we hear. “It’s only two hours sailing.

â€کHooking up’ will also be quick. What won’t be quick is getting it started.

Aker Smart 1 is a huge complex machine. Commissioning could take four to 12 weeks.

No one has ever started up something like this in less than four to six weeks. One company in the Gulf of Mexico took six months.

â€‌ Reliance’s biggest challenge will be to ensure trouble-free start up of the gas compression units, essential for re-injection into the production wells, and for evacuation of commercial gas. “Reliance will want to start producing oil quickly,â€‌ adds a source.

“But it is in their interest to â€کthrottle’ oil production (keep it low) while they start up the gas compression units, otherwise they’ll have to flare gas, and that’s like flaring revenue.â€‌ No one knows exactly how much oil MA will start producing, as this is the first time there will be production from the offshore KG Basin.

“This region doesn’t have any previous G&G data,â€‌ we hear. “It’s difficult to know how the production wells will react.

â€‌ Weather is another factor in determining first production. This year the monsoon came late to Andhra Pradesh, where it is still raining.

But local sources expect a “clear one-month windowâ€‌ for most of September before the onset of more rain at the end of the month.

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