Regulator Seeks Clarity on Ping Petroleum's Avalon Development Plans
Posted 08/08/2023 13:06
The UK's offshore regulator, OPRED, has raised 42 points of inquiry to Ping Petroleum regarding its proposed Avalon development in the Outer Moray Firth. In a comprehensive evaluation of the Environmental Statement (ES) filed for Avalon, OPRED has requested further information on various aspects of the project.
The regulator has sought additional details on the development's emissions, potential environmental impact, and the power sources for the facility. Ping Petroleum is planning to utilize the Excalibur FPSO (formerly known as Sevan Hummingbird) for the development of the 23-million-barrel Avalon field. The company has signed an agreement with developer Cerulean Winds to eventually power the FPSO with wind energy.
However, due to uncertainties surrounding the project, OPRED finds it challenging to assess its full impact and has requested Ping to provide an accurate summary of the project, including updates since the ES was submitted. The regulator also seeks clarification on how power generation on the FPSO would be affected if either the proposed import/export power cable or the wind turbine were not to proceed. In a "worst-case scenario," Ping mentioned that the FPSO would rely on diesel and gas for power throughout the development's lifespan.
Regarding flaring, Ping indicated that the installation of a potential gas import/export line could reduce or eliminate the need for routine flaring. OPRED has asked the company to clarify its flaring requirements, including annual volumes and whether routine flaring would be necessary if the gas import/export line or gas reinjection plans were not implemented.
Another query was raised concerning the intended production period for the Avalon field, inquiring whether it is planned to produce for 10 or 15 years.
Ping Petroleum, a subsidiary of Malaysia's Dagang NeXchange (DNeX), has delayed the final investment decision (FID) on the Avalon oilfield, with an expected completion window in Q3 2023. The approval of the ES is crucial for finalizing the FID and field development plan. While Ping anticipates approvals by mid-next year, it remains uncertain whether the new dates will also impact the projected production start in 3Q 2025.
A spokesperson for Ping expressed satisfaction with the regulator's feedback, considering it a crucial step in the approval process. The company is committed to addressing all queries robustly and accurately to comply with the rigorous environmental requirements. The FID for the Avalon project is expected to align with the regulator's approval process.