IKM supplied its riserless mud recovery system for the Malikai Deepwater Oilfield Project. Image courtesy of IKM.
IEV Malaysia and Heerema Marine Contractors (HMC) have been contracted to transport and install the Malikai TLP.
Malikai Deepwater Oilfield is located approximately 100km off the coast of Sabah, Malaysia. Image courtesy of Frames.


Malikai oilfield is located approximately 100km off the coast of Sabah, Malaysia, in water depths of up to 500m within Block G of the South China Sea. It is Malaysia’s third deepwater project after the Kikeh and Gumusut Kakap projects.

Shell (the operator) and ConocoPhillips hold 35% interest each in the development, while Petronas Carigali owns the remaining 30% interest. Production from the project was achieved in December 2016.

Front-end engineering and design (FEED) activities for the project started in 2009 and the final investment decision was made in February 2013.

Malikai oilfield discovery

The production sharing contract for the Block G was awarded in 1995 and the oilfield was discovered in 2004 by drilling the Malikai-1 exploration well. The field was appraised in 2005 and 2006.

Malikai deepwater oilfield development details

The deepwater offshore oilfield development involved the drilling of 17 wells, employing a 26,000t tension leg platform (TLP) production facility, the first of its kind in the Malaysian waters. The riserless tophole drilling of eight wells was carried out using a Norshore Atlantic multi-purpose drilling vessel.

The Penglai 19-3 Oilfield is located in Block 11/05 of Bohai Bay.

Production from the field’s offshore facilities is tied back by subsea pipelines to Kebabangan (KBB) shallow-water hub gas processing facility, from where it is further conveyed to Sabah Oil & Gas Terminal (SOGT) for export.

Subsea export facilities comprise an 8in-diameter, 50km-long gas pipeline and 10in-diameter, 55km-long liquid pipeline, including steel catenary risers (SCRs).

Details of Malikai TLP

Malikai TLP’s topside weighs 14,000t and its hull weighs 12,000t. The facility is classed by ABS.

The manned topside is equipped with power generation, metering, separation, liquid pumping, gas compression, chemical storage, living quarters and water injection facilities. The hull, fastened and attached to the seafloor, features components, including marine systems, tender assisted drilling (TAD) units, foundation driven piles and suction anchor piles.

The topside of the TLP is capable of accommodating 24 well slots. The TLP has a processing capacity of 60,000bpd and 1.4 million cubic metres or 50 million standard cubic feet per day of gas.

Contractors involved with Malikai oilfield development

The FEED of the offshore oil project was performed by AMEC. The engineering, procurement and construction (EPC) contract for the TLP was awarded to a 50:50 joint-venture (JV) of Technip and Malaysia Marine and Heavy Engineering Holdings Berhad (MHB). Technip also supplied and installed the subsea pipelines, engaging its Global 1201 S-Lay vessel.

“Front-end engineering and design (FEED) activities for the project started in 2009 and the final investment decision was made in February 2013.”

Drilling and production equipment, including subsea wellheads, tensioner systems, risers, production trees, injection trees and tieback connectors, was supplied by Dril-Quip Asia Pacific, a subsidiary of Dril-Quip in collaboration with UMW Petrodril.

Frames has been subcontracted by the Technip-MHBE JV to supply three shell and tube heat exchangers, as well as a gas dew pointing unit, based on low-temperature separation (LTS) technology.

Transportation and installation of the TLP was jointly performed by IEV Malaysia and Heerema Marine Contractors (HMC), under a contract worth $100m. They also performed the pre-installation works for the TLP tendon foundation piles, tendons, suction anchor piles and pre-laid mooring lines.

Flowserve has been contracted to supply its water injection and liquid transfer pumps for the TLP. The company also supplied pumps for seawater lift, firewater, drain caisson, flare knockout drum, circulation and sump services.

IKM’s second-generation MMR riserless mud recovery technology was employed for tophole drilling by the Norshore Atlantic drilling vessel. Virgo Valves supplied 1,900 shutdown, blowdown, motor-operated and manual ball valves for the TLP.

NRI Energy Technology