Byron Energy, the operator of the South Marsh Island 71 (SM 71) oil and gas development, has completed the installation of the 500 foot 4-inch oil and 7,000 foot 6-inch gas pipelines.
Each pipeline has been laid and buried to within tie-in distance to the SM 71 F platform location and their respective sales lines.
Final tie-in work at the platform end and sales lines will be made by dive crews soon after the jacket and decks are installed at the platform location in SM 71.
According to Otto Energy, Byron’s partner in the project, all project pipeline work will be performed by Chet Morrison Construction from Houma, Louisiana.
Otto added that the timeline for load-out and installation of the SM 71 F production platform has been set. Construction work in Galveston, Texas is said to be proceeding to schedule and the onshore construction portion of the project is nearly complete. The three day process of loading the jacket, pilings and decks on to material barges is currently slated to begin on October 30, 2017. After load-out, work to tie-down all equipment is expected to take approximately six days.
By November 7, 2017, the barges should be ready for the two day transit to SM 71. Once on location at SM 71, the Tetra Hedron derrick barge will commence operations to set the jacket and drive the pilings to secure it to the sea floor. After that step, the deck will be lifted into position and welded in place on top of the jacket, Otto Energy explained.
In total, installation operations are expected to take six days offshore. The sequence of events leading to installation is subject to weather conditions and will occur only when the risk of weather is minimized to ensure safe working conditions and to maintain cost control by reducing the potential for weather related delays.
Otto holds a 50% working interest (40.625% net revenue interest) in South Marsh Island Block 71. The operator, Byron, holds the remaining 50% working interest.
Otto’s managing director, Matthew Allen, said: “Otto is very pleased with progress being made by the Operator at SM 71, with a significant portion of the project schedule now completed and first production only a matter of months away. The project is entering a critical phase over the coming months and when drilling commences in late November the joint venture will also be testing a very significant exploration target in the SM 71 F2 well at the B65 sand interval.
Maynard V. Smith, Byron’s CEO, said: “Byron continues to stay on schedule as we move toward first production at SM71 in early 2018. Laying our two pipelines represents yet another milestone and we are pleased this part of the project is completed. Loadout design and the engineering of the jacket and deck installation procedure are complete and those major phases are scheduled to begin in just a few days. The Byron team in Lafayette and Australia continues to move forward every day and at this point the major source of any potential delay we might face is weather. We are excited to enter this critical portion of the SM71 project and the arrival of the Ensco 68 drilling rig in late November with the subsequent drilling of the SM71 F2 and the completion operations that will follow. Most of all, we are especially looking forward to the first production and subsequent cash flow in early 2018.”