Asia-focused independent Jadestone Energy believes it can restart production from its beleaguered Montara oilfield offshore Australia next month.

The Singapore-headquartered company confirmed DNV’s independent review of its remediation plans and operational readiness for the Montara Venture floating production, storage and offloading unit has been submitted to Australia’s offshore regulator as required by directives the watchdog issued to the operator in September.

“This is a major step toward restoring production at Montara, and we anticipate that all offshore activities associated with the comprehensive programme of hull and tank inspection, repair and maintenance will be completed in order to achieve operational readiness within weeks,” Jadestone said.

“In addition, work required as part of the planned maintenance programme for 2023 is being carried out in parallel with the tank activities, and production is therefore expected to recommence during February 2023.”

The Montara Venture FPSO has been out of action and production suspended since August following a small oil leak two months prior.

Repairs to an oil cargo tank and ballast water tank have been performed, as were repairs to some smaller defects identified as part of a wider inspection.

In October, Jadestone enlisted the Norwegian classification society DNV as an independent reviewer for the Montara FPSO.

DNV’s “gap recognition review” will now be considered by Australia’s National Offshore Petroleum Safety and Environmental Management Authority (Nopsema) for approval before Montara’s oil production can be restarted via the FPSO.

Meanwhile, at Jadestone’s producing Stag oilfield — also offshore Australia — the Stag-50H and 51H wells were brought on stream at combined initial production of about 2000 barrels per day.

These infill wells involved the drilling of a combined horizontal section of about 3200 metres.

Strategy validated

On Wednesday, the company said that the success of its 50H and 51H wells “validates the Stag field development strategy and enhances confidence in several additional infill well locations which are already being developed for possible future drilling”.

Once ongoing planned workover activity on the field has been completed, Stag’s production is expected to increase to about 4000 bpd of oil.

Early next month, Jadestone intends to issue a trading statement in respect of its 2022 operational and financial performance, while the independent’s 2023 operational and financial guidance will be announced once Montara has restarted production.

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