Repsol's Yme Project Hits Another Speedbump With Six-Week Shutdown

The converted jackup Maersk Inspirer serves as the production platform for Yme' restart (Maersk)

Published Sep 12, 2022 6:27 PM by The Maritime Executive

Repsol's stop-and-start efforts to revive the mature Yme oilfield off the coast of Norway hit another speedbump last week, partner company OKEA said in a statement Friday. 

The field's process pipe system has sustained damage, Repsol has informed OKEA, requiring five to six weeks of production downtime for repairs. 

Yme is a restart project on a well-developed field. The previous operator, Statoil, operated the project from 1996-2001, when it shut it down due to unprofitably low oil prices. Today's high oil prices and production technology prompted Repsol to take over and revive the field using a jackup drilling/production unit, the Maersk Inspirer. The original production platform at Yme had structural issues, and it was decommissioned and removed in 2016. With Maersk Inspirer hooked up to the field's existing wells, the project came back online with "first oil" in October 2021. 

The field's reserves amount to just over 60 million barrels, and Repsol and its partners hope to achieve a plateau production level of more than 50,000 boepd. The new shutdown comes just as Repsol was planning to ramp up output for full production. 

In May, Repsol was forced to briefly shut in Yme due to a minor oil spill emanating from a pipe between the platform and a subsea storage tank. The release resulted in a light surface sheen. Production was quickly restarted with output diverted onto a tanker instead of the storage tank. 

It was not the first hiccup. In November 2021, just weeks after the project came online, Repsol had to shut it down briefly due to "high oil in water readings."