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FPSO Kwame Nkrumah: Ground-breaking innovation that fixed turret challenges

  • SOURCE: Joy Fm | Editor
  • Smooth production and off-take in the Jubilee field is forecast following the successful completion of the last phase of the Turret Remediation Project which began in 2016.

    “The challenges with the turret have been completely resolved”, Offshore Field Manager, Bruce Tait pointed out as he took a group of journalists on a tour of the FPSO Kwame Nkrumah.

    Turret damage

    The FPSO Kwame Nkrumah, the floating production storage and offloading vessel, uses one of the biggest turrets ever constructed in the oil industry.

    In 2016, lead operator of the Jubilee Field, Tullow Oil confirmed damage to the bearing which could no longer rotate as originally designed. Oil production and gas export continued but under revised operating and off-take procedures.

    The Turret Remediation Project was to replace the bearing and ensure a safe and sustainable long-term offloading capability from the Jubilee field.

    “It is indeed an industry ground-breaking innovation to be able to remediate the turret and create an efficient offloading system concurrently alongside production”, Tait indicated.

    The groundbreaking work

    The remediation project, the first of its type at sea required the FPSO Kwame Nkrumah to be shut down a number of times for work to stabilize the turret bearing.

    In December 2018, the FPSO was successfully rotated to its new heading of 205 degrees and subsequently spread-moored.

    In January this year, Tullow announced the arrival of a Catenary Anchor Leg Mooring (CALM) buoy for off-take from the FPSO.  The CALM buoy is a floating hull with a rotating head to which vessels can moor.

    Retrofitted on the Jubilee FPSO Kwame Nkrumah it would reduce the overall offloading costs associated with the Dynamic Positioning (DP) shuttle tankers which were previously employed to support oil off-take on the Jubilee field.

    The buoy located more than 1.8 kilometers away from the FPSO was fabricated in Estonia. It is designed to complete a one million parcel oil offloading to an export trading tanker in 27 hours.

    The construction and installation was supported by Belmet 7, a Ghanaian company in Takoradi.

    Production performance and expertise

    The FPSO Kwame Nkrumah currently produces 96,200 barrels of oil a day as challenges have been fixed.

    Mr. Tait explained production at the Jubilee Field was a mix of complicated systems, touting Tullow’s technical expertise to produce and safely offload oil.

    “Our ability to run these processes seamlessly, with focus on safety attests to Tullow’s operational excellence. This is something to be proud of”, he added.

    Together with all other vessels in the field, the Jubilee operations have over a 1000 personnel in the field with a significant proportion being Ghanaians. This Tait said means “this operation contributes significantly to local content”.

    Media capacity building

    The visit to the FPSO Kwame Nkrumah concluded a three-part training for selected journalists. Tullow Ghana has committed part of its resources to build the capacity of Ghanaian journalists in reporting on oil and gas matters. The oil firm deems it crucial for the development of the oil and gas industry in Ghana.

    “You read about it, you hear about it but it is different when you see it. This crystallizes everything”, Senior Communications and Investor Relations Advisor at Tullow, Yao Kuwornu remarked at the end of the tour.

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