Australia’s offshore regulator has issued a prohibition notice to Jadestone Energy (LON:JSE) following an oil spill offshore Australia at the Montara oilfield due to immediate and significant threats to the environment as the structural integrity of the FPSO is at risk of failure.
On 17 June the National Offshore Petroleum Safety and Environmental Management Authority (NOPSEMA) received notification of an oil spill at Jadestone’s Montara Venture Floating Production Storage and Offloading (FPSO) facility, approximately 690km north-west of Darwin.
Production at the facility was ceased when the spill was detected and a hole was subsequently identified in the bottom of the tank of the (FPSO) unit.
However, after NOPSEMA’s response team inspected the facility on Tuesday, they concluded that an “immediate and significant threat to the environment” exists as the cargo oil tank is at risk of structural integrity failure, as it has a temporary containment device plugging the hole. The tank is currently holding 10,000 cubic metres of petroleum.
“Based on this known failure it is now reasonable to conclude that the structural integrity of the remaining cargo oil tanks is uncertain,” noted NOPSEMA.
NOPSEMA inspectors are in the process of confirming volume of oil lost and spill modelling to determine the trajectory and outcome of the spill.
NOPSEMA has issued a prohibition notice to ensure production is not restarted until it is satisfied the structural integrity issues have been rectified and risk of further spill has been mitigated.
NOPSEMA said it will continue to oversee the London-listed company’s response and ensure environmental impacts are being monitored, as well as appropriate actions are being taken to address any impacts.
Investigation of the root cause of the incident will be ongoing and further enforcements or compliance actions may be taken if appropriate, added the regulator.
Jadestone already suffered two strikes from NOPSEMA last year, reported Australia’s Energy News Bulletin.
NOPSEMA issued Jadestone an Occupational Health and Safety Improvement Notice in September after a dropped object led to a worker rolling their ankle and needed a medevac from its Montara platform in the Timor Sea the previous month.
It was one of two accidents aboard Montara that month, with the first seeing a worker burned from a boiler; however, as the worker was not medevaced, Jadestone said it was under no obligation to inform the regulator, said Energy News Bulletin.
In March Jadestone was slapped with a direction over corrosion concerns, and NOPSEMA said then it remained unhappy with the level of work undertaken by the Singapore-based upstream player to improve the situation on the ageing oil platform.