Shell has started oil production from the Malikai Tension-Leg Platform (TLP), located 100 kilometers (62 miles) off the coast of the Malaysian state of Sabah.
Located in waters up to 500 meters (1,640 feet) deep, Malikai is the company’s first TLP in the country and its first outside the Gulf of Mexico.
A TLP is a vertically floating structure moored by groups of tethers (tendons) at each corner. The groups of tendons are held upright in tension, giving the platform its name.
Designed and built in Malaysia, the project features a cost-effective platform design and a unique, industry-first set of risers, or pipes, that connect the platform to the wells for oil production, which required fewer drilling materials and lower costs. Production wellheads on deck (connected directly to the subsea wells by rigid risers), instead of on the seafloor, allow simpler well completion, give better control over the production from the reservoir and easier access for downhole intervention operations, says Shell.
Malikai uses more advanced deepwater technologies including:
• A fit-for purpose riserless vessel to perform top hole operations, ahead of TLP installation
• First TLP coupled with a tender assisted drilling (TAD) rig
• Application of the mud recovery without riser technology on a dynamically positioned vessel.
Oil and gas are sent 50 kilometers to the Kebabangan Oil Hub for processing before evacuation onshore to the Sabah Oil & Gas Terminal.
The Malikai project is a joint venture between Shell (35 percent, operator), ConocoPhillips Sabah (35 percent) and Petronas Carigali (30 percent).
Malikai is expected to have a peak production of 60,000 barrels per day. It is Shell’s second deepwater project in Malaysia, following the successful start-up of the Gumusut-Kakap platform in 2014.
Globally, Shell’s deepwater business is a growth priority for the company and currently produces 600,000 boe/d. Deepwater production is expected to increase to more than 900,000 boe/d by the early 2020s from already discovered, established reservoirs. Two other Shell-operated projects are currently under construction or undergoing pre-production commissioning: Coulomb Phase 2 and Appomattox in the U.S. Gulf of Mexico. In September 2016, Shell announced the start of production at Stones in the Gulf of Mexico, the world’s deepest offshore oil and gas project beneath 2,900 meters (9,500 feet) of water.