Australia’s offshore regulator has ordered Singapore’s Jadestone Energy to improve its corrosion management system at its Montara oilfield facilities off Western Australia.
Australia’s National Offshore Petroleum Safety & Environmental Management Authority (Nopsema) issued Jadestone with several directions this month following an inspection that ran between October 2020 and February 2021.
Gain valuable insight into the global oil and gas industry's energy transition from ACCELERATE, the free weekly newsletter from Upstream and Recharge. Sign up here today.
Nopsema carried out an office-based inspection of Jadestone's records and sampled the management of corrosion in subsea infrastructure, topside structural, main cargo deck, and hydrocarbon pressure systems at the Montara facilities, which include the field's wellhead platform and floating production, storage and offloading vessel.
It said the inspection was carried out to review corrosion management and to follow up on failures to address deficiencies identified in prior inspections between 2017 and 2019, in regard to inspection, maintenance and repair of corrosion.
However, inspectors were not satisfied Jadestone’s Safety Management System for Inspection, Maintenance and Repair, specifically with regards to corrosion, was managing the risk of a major accident event occurring to “a level as low as reasonably practicable”.
Inspectors found Jadestone had not taken sufficient action to identify corrosion related hazards at the subsea infrastructure, and ensure that it is fit for service.
They also found that sampled fitness for service calculations for hydrocarbon service pipework contained errors and omissions, while Jadestone’s response to identified anomalies in hydrocarbon service pipework, topside structural elements, subsea infrastructure and deck plate was deemed inadequate by inspectors, in terms of risk assessment and timeliness.
Nopsema also found that Jadestone had failed to demonstrate that topside modules' structure elements were being maintained to ensure that they were fit for purpose, while inspectors also found corrosion on piping systems was not being managed to ensure they were also fit for purpose.
Nopsema issues directions
As a result of the findings of the inspection, Nopsema has directed Jadestone to carry out a detailed review of aspects of its safety management system that relate to corrosion to identify and address any gaps between existing management of corrosion and industry good practice. It requires this to be done within 60 days from 9 March.
Jadestone will also have 180 days to implement a corrosion management system to ensure the Montara facilities meet specifications and are safe and fit for purpose.
Nopsema did note in its report that Jadestone had submitted additional documents and noted progress had been made towards addressing some of the issues, but inspectors found that risks would remain at the facilities until the full works described in the directions were completed.
A Jadestone spokesperson told Upstream that safety was "foundational" to the company and it would continue to "drive for ongoing improvement across all aspects of our business."
"Many of the recommendations from the regulator have already been implemented and all will be completed within the required timeframe, further improving safety and efficiency. Operations at Montara continue uninterrupted," he added.
Jadestone completed a deal to acquire the Montara oilfield from Thailand’s PT Exploration & Production (PTTEP) in 2018 and took over operatorship of the field in 2019.
The field was shut-in towards the end of 2018 to address outstanding inspection and maintenance work, while in 2019 Jadestone replaced the subsea umbilicals at the field.
Montara discovered in 1988 by BHP and operatorship was later taken over by Coogee Resources in 2003 which was subsequently acquired by PTTEP in 2008.
The field had been expected to start production in 2008 but was pushed back 2010 due to the change of ownership.
However, in 2009 a major leak and subsequent fire, which destroyed the jack-up drilling rig West Atlas and Montara wellhead platform, saw production delayed yet again with first oil not being achieved until 2013.