Offshore gas and condensate field development
The Vega Pleyade offshore gas and condensate field was developed by Total (37.5%) in partnership with Wintershall (37.5%) and Pan American Energy (25%). Total also operates the field on behalf of the development partners.
The field is located in the Cuenca Marina Austral 1 (CMA-1) concession offshore Tierra del Fuego, Argentina. Total has been the operator of the CMA-1 concession since 1978 and operates 30% of Argentina’s gas with Tierra del Fuego as its centre.
Initial investment for the project is estimated to be $1.2bn, but is expected to increase to $1.5bn if additional wells are required to be drilled.
The field started production in February 2016 at an initial production rate of six million cubic metres a day, which will ultimately increase to ten million cubic metres a day. It will help Total to increase production from the Tierra del Fuego by adding to the production from the other operational fields in the area, namely Cañadon Alfa, Carina and Aries.
The Vega Pleyade field has estimated reserves of approximately 25 billion cubic metres of natural gas, making its development an important milestone for the region.
With a production potential of ten million cubic metres (70,000 barrels of oil equivalent), the field will enhance Total’s production from the region and enable the country to sustain its position as a leading gas producer.
Development of the Vega Pleyade field relies on extensive logistics and safety planning as it is located in rough waters where wind speeds are as high as 180km/h or more and the area lies at a long distance from onshore infrastructure.
The field development plan includes drilling three horizontal production wells from a new production platform and laying of subsea pipelines. The drilling is planned to be as deep as 5.5km (3.4 miles).
A wellhead platform was built in water depths of 50m that is connected to the onshore treatment plants Rio Cullen and Cañadon Alfa, which are operated by Total. The new platform, constructed in Cardiz, Spain, is the world’s most southern gas producing platform.
A 77km-long pipeline was built for connecting the field to the treatment plants. The field development is expected to increase supply to the treatment plants and allow Total to maintain its plateau production of 18 million cubic metres a day (130,000 barrels of oil equivalent a day).
A lump-sum contract was awarded to Dragados Offshore for engineering, procurement and construction (EPC), pre-commissioning and commissioning of the wellhead platform topsides, four-legged jacket, and piles. Dragados Offshore subcontracted MTE to supply wind wall cladding systems.
ALE was selected to provide weighing, transportation, ballasting and load-out services for a 1,263t jacket and 1,862t topside for the Vega Pleyade development project.
Total chose Actimar to conduct a met-ocean study prior to beginning the development work to gather information regarding the environmental conditions.
Pipelines for the project were delivered by Momentum Scan, a vessel owned by Canada Feeder Lines (CFL). Total has contracted Swiber’s pipelay vessel Swiber PJW3000 for laying the pipelines.
A contract for the engineering, procurement, supply, fabrication, assembly and onshore commissioning of the Vega Pleyade gas offshore platform was awarded to ACS Group.
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