The chief executive of Serica Energy (LON: SQZ) has reassured shareholders that the Triton FPSO is “fit for purpose” until at least the end of the decade.
During an investor presentation, Mitch Flegg revealed there has been “a lot of comment and a lot of questions” about the “quality” of the North Sea vessel in recent weeks.
It follows the announcement that Serica will buy fellow operator Tailwind Energy – a large stakeholder in the FPSO – in a shares and cash deal worth a total of £367 million.
Dana Petroleum, which operates the Triton FPSO, was cautioned last year by the Health and Safety Executive after it found employees were put at risk of exposure to legionella bacteria on board.
The offshore watchdog raised concerns over water management issues, as well as noise exposure on the FPSO.
In response to the improvement notice, published in July, Dana said it regretted the situation and was working towards full compliance.
Triton is the host for eight producing fields in the region.
Tailwind has an interest in five of those – Guillemot, Belinda, Bittern, Gannet E and Evelyn – and operates the latter two.
It also has a 46% stake in the Triton FPSO, located about 120 miles east of Aberdeen.
Built in 1998, the 244-metre long vessel is now in its 25th year, and it appears Serica investors are anxious production may be curtailed by the need for maintenance.
But Mr Flegg says “a large amount of work” has been carried out on Triton recently, which will comfortably see it through until 2030.
Mr Flegg said: “There has been a lot of comment and a lot of questions about the quality of that FPSO; people suggesting it’s going to have to come off station for upgrades.
“There has been a lot of work done recently to verify the integrity of that piece of kit, and to determine that it is fit for purpose until at least 2030, with no dry dock or off stationing required.
“There is a campaign of upgrade and maintenance work, and there was a large amount of work done with a walk-to-work programme during 2022 – there will be another one during 2023.
“The result is that the uptime on that FPSO is really good – more than 95% in 2022. It’s performing absolutely brilliantly, and we expect it to continue to do so.”
Tailwind bought Shell and ExxonMobil’s stakes in the Triton cluster in September 2018.
Dana has operated the area’s namesake FPSO since 2012 and currently holds a 52% stake in the asset – Waldorf Production owns the remaining 2%.
Triton is normally crewed by around 70 staff, but has accommodation on board for up to 80 people.