Canadian independent Valeura Energy’s plans to restart production at the shut-in Wassana oilfield offshore Thailand in the first quarter have been dealt a blow after the third party-operated floating storage and offloading vessel hit the field’s Catenary Anchor Leg Mooring (Calm) buoy, damaging some offloading components.

Valeura has leased the MT Jaka Tarub to operate as the FSO for Wassana and the vessel was mobilised to the Gulf of Thailand field late last month.

However, during start-up preparations, the third-party operated vessel impacted the field’s Calm buoy, resulting in damage to certain offloading components. No personnel were injured and, as production had not yet started, there was no discharge of fluids.

“In keeping with Valeura’s strict health, safety and environmental standards, the company is working collaboratively with Thailand’s upstream regulator, the Department of Mineral Fuels, to ensure the safe restart of production operations, which will now entail a thorough inspection to assess damage and verify the operational integrity of the complete offloading system before start-up,” said Valeura in a statement.

Meanwhile, the operator is preparing for an infill drilling campaign in Thailand having lined up the jack-up PV Drilling for the initial scope that comprises five infill wells on the Wassana oilfield. The PV Drilling I rig is scheduled to arrive in July or August.

Against this backdrop, Valeura has its eye on inorganic growth opportunities — both in the country where today it is the largest independent oil producer after acquiring assets from KrisEnergy and Mubadala Energy and in the wider Southeast Asia region.

Further acquisitions eyed

“… inorganic growth remains part of the Valeura strategy, while remaining focused on its strict screening criteria and biased toward potential transactions which both generate near-term cash flow and provide opportunities for follow-on investment,” commented the company’s chief executive, Sean Guest.

Valeura also has a tight gas asset in the Thrace basin in Turkey and it is looking for a farm-in partner before committing to the next exploration phase and appraisal work although it believes this tight gas play “is a potentially significant source of potential value in the longer term”.

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