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As the Elang-Kakatua field neared exhaustion, the Timor Sea Designated Authority looked for a new operator, publishing Potential for continued oil recovery from Elang-Kakatua in May 2007. They were not successful, as the following articles show, but made one final attempt in October, inviting expressions of interest. The search for a new operator was abandoned on 31 January 2008.

ConocoPhillips to exit oilfield in Timor Sea

Upstream, May 25, 2007

By RUSSELL SEARANCKE

Replacement operator needed as US company leaves Elang-Kakatua

ConocoPhillips is preparing to exit the ageing Elang-Kakatua oilfields in the Timor Sea's joint petroleum development area, and the local authorities are seeking a replacement operator to continue production.

Oil production from Elang-Kakatua was 184,000 barrels, or 2000 barrels per day of oil in the three months ended 31 March, according to joint venturer Santos.

ConocoPhillips has given notice to the Timor Sea Designated Authority (TSDA) that it wishes to cease production at Elang-Kakatua on 27 June, and the TSDA has granted the US operator until 27 July to adequately prepare the fields for any subsequent work.

The TSDA is the joint East Timor-Australia regulator for the joint petroleum development area that hosts just two producing projects - Elang-Kakatua and the big Bayu-Undan gas and condensate field, also operated by ConocoPhillips. The TSDA has given its approval for all wells at Elang-Kakatua to be suspended for a limited time while it receives expressions of interest from "companies interested in reviewing this mature asset, which may have redevelopment and enhanced recovery potential", said the Dili-based organisation.

The deadline for expressions of interest is 1 June and already more than a dozen companies have sent submissions to the TSDA, said sources. Cumulative production from the project since start-up in July 1998 through to February 2007 was just over 31 million barrels of light, low sulphur oil from an initial reserve of 33 million barrels.

Oil produced is 57 degrees API and associated gas in the production stream has been used for fuel on the leased floating production, storage and offloading vessel Modec Venture 1.

The TSDA estimates that oil output in 2007 will be 767,000 barrels of oil and natural gas liquids plus associated gas, while in 2008 it forecasts liquids production to be 620,000 barrels of oil and liquids. Joint venture partners in joint petroleum development area 03-12 are operator ConocoPhillips (57.36%), Santos (21.43%) and Inpex (21.21%).

Sources said the TSDA was very eager for another company to take up the reins given the estimated remaining reserves.

There was speculation that ConocoPhillips' rationale for closing down at Elang-Kakatua was based on shrinking profit margins.

Even though the project's production facilities, including the FPSO and subsea equipment are in good operating order, they are getting older and more fragile, said sources.

In addition, a reduction in the amount of produced gas means the FPSO is running off more expensive fuels.

It is understood that ConocoPhillips has already given Modec three months' notice of its intention to stop production at Elang-Kakatua.

A spokesperson for the Japanese floater giant said there were a number of contingencies being examined for its FPSO, but "as of today, the FPSO is operating under the charter contract with ConocoPhillips".

The floater has production capacity of 35,000 bpd of oil and storage space for 750,000 barrels of oil.

MODEC redeploys FPSO MODEC Venture 1

OilOnline, August 27, 2007

MODEC has received a Letter of Intent from AED Oil Limited for a time charter agreement on the FPSO MODEC Venture 1.

The FPSO MODEC Venture 1 previously operated in the Elang/Kakatua/Kakatua North (EKKN) oil fields in the Timor Gap Joint Petroleum Development Area for ConocoPhillips (the original field operator was BHP) for nine years. The fields were abandoned by ConocoPhillips at the end of July 2007.

MODEC will continue to own and operate the FPSO but will lease the FPSO to AED who plans to use it for the development of the Puffin SW field, Timor sea, Australia. Operating conditions at the Elang/Kakatua and the Puffin SW fields are similar. The facilities at the Elang/Kakatua/Kakatua North fields, including mooring, flowlines, umbilicals and risers will be redeployed and installed by MODEC at the Puffin SW field. The MODEC Venture 1 has a production capacity of approximately 32,000 barrels of oil per day and storage capacity of 750,000 barrels.

"Obviously we are delighted to redeploy the MV1 so quickly," said Kenji Yamada, President and CEO of MODEC, Inc. "MODEC maintains and operates its FPSOs to the highest standard, which makes quick redeployment possible. I am very pleased with our Operations & Maintenance team."

The FPSO will undergo minor modifications and maintenance prior to beginning work for AED. The FPSO is expected to be on station at Puffin-10 toward the end of the first quarter 2008, with production starting shortly thereafter. The contract agreement is for a fixed term of three years with two one-year option periods at AED's election.

Bidders sought again for mature East Timor oil fields

Oil and Gas Journal, October 10 2007
Rick Wilkinson OGJ Correspondent

MELBOURNE -- The Timor Sea Designated Authority (TSDA) is again attempting to secure an operator for the mature Elang, Kakatua, and Kakatua North oil fields in the northwest corner of the joint petroleum development area administered by Australia and East Timor.

A first attempt earlier this year failed to attract any bidders.

Previous operator ConocoPhillips shut in the fields in early July because output had dropped to just 2,000 b/d from 32,500 b/d.

Elang and the Kakatua fields, the first to come on stream in the Timor Gap, were found by the Petroz-BHP Petroleum group in 1994. The three fields have produced 31.3 million bbl of oil via subsea wells and a floating production, storage, and offloading vessel from an originally estimated recoverable reserve of 32.6 million bbl.

TSDA said remaining reserves are more than 0.6 million bbl, and there may be an additional accumulation in the nearby Elang West structure.

Elang West-1, drilled in 80 m of water, intersected a gross hydrocarbon column 8.5 m thick in the main reservoir horizon and flowed 1,650 b/d on test from an 85-m thick fractured zone in overlying formations. A sidetrack intersected a 21-m gross hydrocarbon column.

Elang West-1 was suspended as a discovery but never developed.

TSDA is inviting expressions of interest for a second time from exploration, production, and service companies to establish an enhanced oil recovery production-sharing contract over the three-field complex.

Interested parties can access the data package and submit an application by Mar. 31, 2008.

The Timor-Leste Institute for Development Monitoring and Analysis (Lao Hamutuk)
Institutu Timor-Leste ba Analiza no Monitor ba Dezenvolvimentu
Rua D. Alberto Ricardo, Bebora, Dili, Timor-Leste
P.O. Box 340, Dili, Timor-Leste
Tel: +670-3321040 or +670-77234330
email: 
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