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PetroSA's ORCA floating facility recommissioned

by BuaNews Online
on 01 Dec 2008
BuaNews Online
BuaNews Online

PetroSA announced on Sunday that it had resumed crude oil production from the Oribi or Oryx oilfields following the successful recertification of the 39-year-old ORCA Floating Production Storage Offloading (FPSO) facility.

The Offshore Platform has successfully begun production of crude oil from the Oribi/Oryx oilfields.

The ORCA offshore platform was last year towed to the Cape Town harbour for its five-yearly inspection for class re-certification as well as to complete essential repairs to its onboard crude oil storage tanks.

The work is required by the American Bureau of Shipping (ABS), the world's leading authority for the design, construction and operational maintenance of marine-related facilities. PetroSA is a member of ABS.

The ORCA was originally a drilling rig that underwent conversion into a floating production platform in 1997. At the time of conversion the expectation was that the ORCA would only be able to sustain operations for three years.

The facility has now been in commission for eleven years.

Michael Nene, PetroSA's acting Vice-President for Operations said the facility was pivotal to the company's strategy of ensuring security of supply of fuels for South Africa.

"The importance of having a state-of-the-art ORCA facility, positions PetroSA to maximise its profits and to ensure that we are well on our way to be the leading energy company on the continent," Mr Nene said.

The floating facility spent about 12-months at Cape Town harbour to ensure that she was successfully re-classed as a Floating Production Storage Offloading facility. It began steady production of crude oil at the beginning of November.

Some of the work performed on the ORCA included the steel replacement and strengthening of her crude oil and ballast tanks. The ORCA's tanks also had to be pressure tested to ensure that there were no leaks.

"The ORCA is integral to PetroSA's growth strategy and vision. We want to be the leading provider of hydrocarbons and other quality products. Owning a state-of-the-art facility, like the ORCA provides us with an opportunity to maximise our strengths and also ensures we are well ahead of our competitors," Mr Nene said.

At the time of ceasing production on 30 April 2007, the ORCA was producing an average of 3 200 barrels of crude per day.

With the additional work to be done on its sub-sea flow-lines, the production rate was expected to further increase.

This was indeed the case, at present, production is well in excess of the April 2007 figures.

The current average is 4 000 barrels of crude per day. - BuaNews

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