PTTEP reboards jack up in Montara field for assessment

PTTEP Australasia, Perth, has reboarded the West Atlas jack up rig and the Montara oil field wellhead platform in the Timor Sea to carry out an assessment of damage and safety issues.

Rick Wilkinson
OGJ Correspondent

MELBOURNE, Nov. 24 -- PTTEP Australasia, Perth, has reboarded the West Atlas jack up rig and the Montara oil field wellhead platform in the Timor Sea to carry out an assessment of damage and safety issues.

A three-man reconnaissance team from Alert Well Control spent about 8 hr on the rig to inspect its condition and identify hazards involved in the plan to plug and secure the Montara-H1 horizontal development well that leaked oil and gas for 60 days between August and November. The well caught fire on the last days of an attempt to plug the leak from a relief well and caused extensive damage.

The team reported that both the well and the platform remain stable after the kill operation was ultimately successful and the fire extinguished (OGJ Online, Nov. 4, 2009). However preliminary assessment of the rig indicates extensive damage to equipment and many areas on board.

The PTTEP team was concentrating on the structural integrity of the rig’s cantilever, which buckled as a result of the fire and is now partially lying on the helideck of the wellhead platform.

AWC also is to assess the potential for any loose debris on the jack up that might dislodge and fall onto the platform where the permanent well plugging operation would take place.

PTTEP says the inspection and remedial work will be a technical and logistical challenge.

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