Fittingly, ikhwezi is the Nguni word for ‘morning star’. As one of the most strategically important initiatives PetroSA has ever undertaken, Project Ikhwezi marks the start of a new dawn for our business.
Formally approved by the PetroSA Board in March 2011, Project Ikhwezi is set to play an instrumental role in sustaining the life of our gas-to-liquids (GTL) refinery in Mossel Bay. It involves tapping into gas reserves in Petro SA’s F-O field, which is located 40km south-east of our F-A production platform off the south coast of South Africa.
First gas is scheduled to flow from the F-O field in May 2013 and we estimate that production will continue for around six years. Further development of other gas prospects near the F-O field could potentially help to sustain the life of the Mossel Bay refinery until 2025.
The Project Ikhwezi story starts in 2009, when PetroSA drilled eight wells, two of which were F-O appraisal wells. After detailed sub-surface modeling and studies, our exploration and production specialists earmarked five wells in the F-O field for a development case. Following a period of intensive development and assessment, the teams presented a business case based on drilling five long horizontal wells into the complex and challenging target formations.
Having won Board approval, the project passed its first key milestone in May 2011, when we awarded the drilling rig contract to Ensco. Drilling is scheduled to start in July 2012 and finish by the first quarter of 2015. The five wells will be around 1.5km long and it will take around six months to complete each one. The drilling activity accounts for 63% of the project’s total capital expenditure.
In parallel, work will proceed on installing the subsea pipelines and production infrastructure before tying the pipelines back to the Mossel Bay refinery via our F-A platform. The subsea pipeline will be installed between September and December 2012 by Allseas. The rest of the subsea infrastructure will be installed between January and March 2013 by SBM.
In total, the Project Owner’s team is around 80 strong and comprises PetroSA employees and external specialist consultants. Meeting tight deadlines, they are working hard to address the complex geological and physical challenges associated with the target formations. Their combined technological and project management expertise are vital to securing PetroSA’s future.
Drilling five long horizontal wells
- May 2011 Drilling contract awarded to Ensco
- July 2012 drilling starts
- 2015 Q1drilling completed
Scope A Laying pipes
- November 2011 recommendation to award contract to Allseas
- September 2012 work starts
- December 2012 work completed
Scope B Installing sub-sea structures, flexible pipes etc.
- November 2011 recommendation to award contract to SBM Offshore
- January 2013 work starts
- March 2013 work completed
Tying back production infrastructure to F-A platform
- November 2011 recommendation to award contract to Petrofac
- November 2011 work starts
- April 2013 work completed