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Total and partners launch $16B ultra-deep Kaombo project offshore Angola

Total and its joint venture partners have made the final investment decision to develop the ultra-deep offshore Kaombo project in Angola. With a production capacity of 230,000 barrels per day, Kaombo will develop estimated reserves of 650 million barrels. Following an intensive optimization exercise, the project’s capital expenditure to reach full capacity was reduced by $4 billion to $16 billion, with an expected start-up in 2017.

Location of Kaombo. Click to enlarge.

Located approximately 260 km (162 miles) offshore Luanda in water depths ranging from 1,400 to 1,900 meters (4,593 to 6,234 feet), the Kaombo project will develop six of the 12 discoveries already made on Block 32. The six fields (Gengibre, Gindungo, Caril, Canela, Mostarda and Louro) cover an area of 800 km2 in the central and southeast part of the block.

The Kaombo development scheme includes 59 subsea wells, connected through approximately 300 km (186 miles) of subsea lines, to two floating production, storage and offloading (FPSO) vessels, each with a production capacity of 115,000 barrels per day. The two FPSOs will be based on conversions of very large crude carriers (VLCCs) into production units. Associated gas will be exported to the onshore Angola LNG plant.

One of the challenges with ultra-deep production with long disstances to be covered by production lines is how to transport moderate flowrates of multiphase fluid over long distances. The most notable challenge deals with the flow assurance considerations associated with shutdown management or restart operations, noted Luc Rivière, a member of Total’s Deep Offshore team, and colleagues from Saipem in a 2011 article in Offshore.

The development plan will center on a hybrid loop configuration, an innovative technology for multiphase pumping and transport of the fluids.

The most common architecture used to develop deepwater fields is a production loop comprising two separate insulated production lines connected at the manifold. Under normal operation, production is split between the two. During a shutdown, dead oil is circulated in both lines to displace the live oil. The hybrid loop architecture instead uses a single insulated production line looped with a non-insulated service line for pigging, fluid displacement and warm-up operations. This saves costs on the flowlines.

The Kaombo development includes a substantial level of local content. More than 14 million man-hours of fabrication and construction works will be performed locally in Angolan yards which will be used for equipment fabrication and assembly.

Total is the operator of Block 32, with a 30% stake, alongside Sonangol P&P (30%), Sonangol Sinopec International (20%), Esso Exploration and Production Angola (Overseas) Limited (15%) and Galp Energia (5%).

France-based Total has been present in Angola since 1953. In 2013, Total’s equity production amounted to 186,000 barrels of oil equivalent per day (boe/d). Most of this production comes from blocks 17, 0 and 14. At the end of 2013, Total operated close to 600,000 boe/d, making it the country’s leading oil operator.

Total’s principal asset in Angola, deep-offshore Block 17 (40%, operator), consists of four major zones: Girassol, Dalia, Pazflor (which are all in production) and CLOV, which is currently being developed. The development of CLOV started in 2010 and will result in the installation of a fourth FPSO with a production capacity of 160,000 boe/d, with a start-up scheduled in mid-2014.

With the launch of Kaombo, the upcoming start-up of CLOV and three exploration wells planned in the Kwanza basin this year, Angola remains a priority country for Total.

—Yves-Louis Darricarrère, President Total Upstream



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