Feb 21, 2021 News
– Will use ‘lessons learned’ to prevent future flaring
By Kemol King
Kaieteur News – ExxonMobil said yesterday in an operational update that it is working to get to the bottom of the technical issues, which resulted in flaring at the Liza Destiny Floating Production, Storage and Offloading (FPSO) vessel since January 27.
Government and Public Affairs Advisor, Janelle Persaud, repeated “A detailed assessment of the compressor has found an axial vibration of the compressor rotor was the initiating event of the technical issue experienced on January 27. The resulting vibration within the compressor was the cause of the mechanical seal failure initially reported.”
Kaieteur News has asked the company to clearly define the root cause of this, and whether it was linked to the issues that caused flaring last year.
“We are conducting comprehensive root cause analyses of the issues and will take full action to incorporate lessons learned for the FPSOs employed in future projects, including Liza Phase 2 and Payara,” Persaud said.
ExxonMobil intends to increase the liquids capacity of the Liza Destiny. ExxonMobil officials had revealed during a press engagement on Monday, February 8, that the operation was producing at a rate of 130,000 barrels a day in January, just before the equipment malfunction occurred.
ExxonMobil insists that the issue is not linked to these higher production tests.
Gregory Hill, Chief Operations Officer at Hess Corporation – ExxonMobil’s Stabroek block partner – told analysts during a 2020 Q4 earnings call on January 27 that ExxonMobil intends to evaluate and pursue options to increase the liquids capacity of the vessel, and that this would include some piping changes and debottlenecking during a third quarter shutdown period.
Meanwhile, repairs and upgrades are ongoing on the equipment in Germany. Persaud said it could take up to eight weeks for the equipment to be repaired and reinstated.
“Technical experts at the MAN Energy Solutions workshop in Germany continue to reassemble the internal components of the flash gas compressor. To date, they have completed the adjustment of all sealing components for the suction and have moved forward with the assembly and alignment of the seals and the bearings on the discharge side.”
This follows the mechanical reworking of the compressor casing, which was done early last week.
Apart from the flash gas compressor, Persaud said that the discharge silencer, a key component of the assembly, was transported to Germany separately due to the sequence of the disassembly on the FPSO. The ExxonMobil official told reporters that the silencer is under evaluation and assessment to determine the scope of repairs required.
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