On October 8, 2014, Shell announced first oil from the Gumusut-Kakap platform off the coast of Malaysia. With an annual peak oil production of around 135,000 barrels a day, the platform contributes up to 25% of the country’s oil production.
Sabah Shell Petroleum Company is the operator of the development, which employs Malaysia’s first deep-water semi-submersible production system.
The field comprises 19 subsea wells, with oil exported via a 200-km long pipeline to an oil and gas terminal in Kimanis, Sabah.
In 2008, development drilling began in the Gumusut-Kakap field. Early production started at the field in November, 2012.
This was ahead of engineers completing the floating production system (FPS) by linking Gumusut-Kakap’s production wells to the Kikeh production facility, the country’s first deep-water development, operated by Murphy Sabah Oil.
This early production was an interim measure to bring 25,000 barrels a day on stream ahead of completing the FPS.
The project has allowed Shell to share deep-water expertise with Malaysian energy companies, assisting in the Malaysian government’s goal to create an offshore industry hub. The platform was built in Malaysia by Malaysian Marine and Heavy Engineering Sdn Bhd (MMHE).
The project uses Shell Smart Fields technology to carefully control production from the undersea wells to achieve greater efficiency.
Natural gas that is produced along with the oil will be re-injected into the reservoir to help improve oil recovery. With oil production now under way, work on the gas facilities is continuing with an expected start-up during 2015.
The project safely completed a record-breaking 23,000-tonne superlift in March 2012, by raising the platform’s topsides 45 metres (nearly 150 feet) above ground while the 17,500-tonne hull was moved underneath them.
The combined weight of the production system is equivalent to 30,000 average-sized family cars.
Environment and society
In Malaysia, Shell continues to run major social investment programmes focused on capacity building, environmental conservation and community development.
Located off the coast of Sabah, the Gumusut-Kakap development area is particularly rich in yellow-fin tuna.
Shell and the Sabah Department of Fisheries are working together on a project to enhance fishing stocks in alternative areas for local fishermen.
Shell is also leading and supporting activities to promote environmental awareness in Sarawak and Sabah; for example, through the SERASI (environmentally friendly school competition) and Nature Education Camp programmes for schools.
Shell also supports research and environmental conservation efforts in Sabah’s pristine areas in Danum Valley and Maliau Basin.
Other programmes focus on young people and education.
Shell funds hundreds of Malaysian university students every year through its scholarship programme.
It also supports a programme together with the Sarawak Education Department that trains welders, helping to meet industry shortfalls for this skill pool.