OMV New Zealand

The Maari Growth Project

OMV New Zealand – Maari Growth Project

 The Maari field decline meant that the field life would be less than the 15 -20 year expected at inception. The solution was the Maari Growth Project, a plan to double daily production, reduce operating costs and extend the life of New Zealand’s largest offshore oil field.

The focus of the project was the drilling of four new production wells using the ENSCO-107 jack-up rig. In a New Zealand first, the venture deployed a second rig at the same time, with the semi-submersible Kan Tan IV drilling two near field exploration wells. In all some 21.5 kilometres of new wells were drilled.

The project took place in mid-2014, ending a year later. It involved more than 600 people across engineering, construction, drilling, production and support for two years, and a total of 887,000 work-hours. Thirty-five companies were engaged directly with the project, and there were more than 300 suppliers, 170 of which were New Zealand-based.

But successful implementation relied on a series of commercial, regulatory and technical innovations.

OMV had to apply for the industry’s first marine consent under the new Exclusive Economic Zone and Continental Shelf (Environmental Effects) Act 2012.

To accommodate the new production, significant changes had to be made to the Maari well head platform. A second lifeboat, a helideck firefighting system and H2S detection and protection system were also required.

Several down-hole firsts for New Zealand’s offshore oil industry were also critical to the project’s success. Foam cement was used to solve critical drilling mud-loss issues and ensure target locations were reached. Another innovation was the use of Inflow Control Devices, which allow the inflow to be controlled along the well bore to manipulate the drawdown imposed on the reservoir. Chemical tracers were also used to obtain reservoir production data, removing the need to intervene in wells with production logging tools for about three years.

OMV say the complex project didn’t just restore Maari’s production, it has given the field a new beginning which will sustain its exports and royalties to the Crown. And it was completed without serious injury to personnel or significant environmental impact.

The Energy Project of the Year award category is sponsored by UGL