Hydrate Problems Force Sable Curtailments
The Sable Offshore Energy Project had to shut down production
twice since starting operations Jan. 1. The first incident occurred
on Friday Jan. 7 only a week after gas began to flow when a subsea
line started experiencing hydrate problems (essentially ice slug
blockage). Then early last week the Sable processing plant onshore
had to be evacuated because of a gas leak warning. As of last
Friday there was no prognosis on when production would be
The Canada Nova Scotia Offshore Petroleum Board said last week
it will begin providing weekly updates on the offshore project and
daily updates when outages occur. Information is available on the
board's web site: http://www.cnsopb.ns.ca/ The National Energy
Board has jurisdiction over the onshore facilities.
Initial production from Sable was averaging 110 MMcf/d, about 36
MMcf/d of which was making its way into U.S. markets via the
Maritimes project. Sable producers still expect flows to ramp up to
440 MMcf/d quickly. About 360 MMcf/d is expected to be traveling to
the U.S. by mid-February. The Sable project is expected to reach
peak flow of 530 MMcf/d after Nova Scotia and New Brunswick
laterals are put in place in November.
Production will be flowing from six wells at the North Atlantic
project's Thebaud, Venture and North Triumph fields. The fields are
125 miles (200 km) east of Nova Scotia. Sable's various parts
include three offshore processing platforms, two onshore processing
plants as well as subsea pipelines. Sable partners include Exxon
Mobil with 50.8%, Shell Canada Ltd. with 31.3%, Exxon Mobil
affiliate Imperial Oil Ltd. with 9%, Nova Scotia Resources Ltd.
with 8.4%, and Mosbacher Operating Ltd. with 0.05%.
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