Fabrication work in progress at Gumusut-Kakap. The deepwater project includes development of the Gumusut and Kakap fields located offshore Malaysia. Image courtesy of Shell International.
Gumusut-Kakap produces oil through 19 subsea wells tied-in to a floating production system. Image courtesy of Shell International.
CiBAS waste heat recovery systems were installed at the Gumusut-Kakap field. Image courtesy of CiTECH Energy Recovery Systems UK.

The Gumusut-Kakap project includes the joint development of two ultra-deep water discoveries, Gumusut and Kakap. The fields are located within blocks J and K, about 120km offshore from Sabah, Malaysia. Water depth is in the region is 1,200m (3,937ft).

Sabah Shell was the operator of Gumusut, and Murphy Oil operated the Kakap field. Development of the two fields was combined under an unitisation agreement signed by the partners in 2006.

A final investment decision on the project was taken in January 2008. Sabah Shell is the operator of the project and holds a 33% interest. Partners include ConocoPhillips Sabah (33%), Petronas Carigall (20%) and Murphy Oil (14%).

The first production was achieved in October 2014. An average production of 135,000 barrels a day is expected from the project.

Deepwater projects such as Gumusut-Kakap are critical to Malaysia. Crude oil output from maturing fields is on the decline and is expected to last only for the next 20 years. Undiscovered resources in Malaysia are estimated to amount to ten billion barrels of oil, of which 65% are deepwater discoveries.

Focus on deepwater projects is therefore increasing. The only deepwater project to have been brought on stream to date in Malaysia is the Kikeh project in 2007.

Discovery of the ultra-deep Malaysian Gumusut and Kakap fields

The Gumusut field was discovered by the Gumusut-1B well, drilled in 2003 in Block J. The well was drilled by a semisubmersible rig, Atwood Falcon. The Kakap field was discovered by Murphy Oil in 2004 in Block K.

The fields were appraised by four wells, namelyGumusut-2, Gumusut-3, Kakap-1 and Kakap-2. The wells were drilled between 2003 and 2004.

The recoverable reserves of Gumusut-Kakap project are estimated at 300 to 500 million barrels of oil equivalent.

Developing Sabah Shell’s two offshore oil and gas fields

“The fields are located within Blocks J and K, about 120km offshore from Sabah, Malaysia.”

The Gumusut-Kakap project comprises 19 subsea wells, tied back to a floating production system (FPS). The Gumusut-Kakap FPS weighs more than 40,000t and has a processing capacity of 150,000 barrels of oil each day. It was installed in about 1, 200m of water.

Crude produced at the fields is exported through a pipeline to a new oil and gas processing facility built at Kimanis, Sabah. Processed gas from the Kimanis plant is transported to Petronas LNG Complex in Bintulu, Sarawak. Gas produced at the field is re-injected into the reservoir to improve oil recovery.

Development drilling for the project commenced in January 2008. The project was originally scheduled to come on-stream in 2010 but was delayed due to design issues with the Gumusut-Kakap production facility and laying the new subsea export pipeline.

Contractors involved with the Gumusut-Kakap deepwater project

INTECSEA designed the hull, deck and mooring system of the FPS. It also provided consultancy services for fabrication and installation of the unit. Detailed engineering contract for the topsides of the FPS was awarded to Technip.

“Focus on deepwater projects is therefore increasing. The only deepwater project to have been brought on stream to date in Malaysia is the Kikeh project in 2007.”

SapuraAcergy won an $825m contract for the engineering, procurement and installation of an oil export pipeline, catenary riser, flowlines, jumpers, moorings and chains for the FPS.

SapuraAcergy subcontracted SapuraCrest Petroleum to carry out the offshore installation works. Enterprise-3 and Sapura3000 vessels will be used for the installation activities. TSmarine supplied an ROV support vessel for Sapura3000 under a $6m contract.

Between October 2010 and mid-November 2010, IHC Merwede installed piles for the moorings of the FPS.

JP Kenny Wood Group was awarded a four-year contract in April 2009 to provide engineering, design and follow-on engineering support services during the fabrication and commissioning phases of the project. Lloyd’s Register Group provided design appraisal services for the FPS.

The contract for construction of the FPS has been awarded to Malaysia International Shipping Corporation (MISC). The FPS was constructed at MISC’s fabrication facility in Johor, Malaysia. The engineering, procurement, construction and load-out contract for the topsides and hull of the FPS was awarded to Malaysia Marine and Heavy Engineering.

FMC Technologies supplied subsea trees, manifolds, flowline connections and other subsea equipment.

CiTECH Energy Recovery Systems UK was contracted to supply its CiBAS waste heat recovery units. A $32m contract was awarded to Wasco Energy to provide pipeline coating services.

Bredero Shaw also won a $35m coating contract. The mooring system for the FPS is being supplied by Timberland Equipment.