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The largest discovery in New Zealand since Maui, Pohokura holds estimated reserves of 700 billion cubic feet of gas and 42 million barrels of condensate, likely to contribute 42 percent of the country’s natural gas demand. The field is estimated to contribute an average $200 million each year to the national economy through royalties alone.

The Pohokura topside module was built by New Plymouth’s Fitzroy Engineering Group and Fletcher Construction was the main contractor for the onshore production station, with Pohokura condensate being shipped through Port Taranaki since August 2006.

In a New Zealand first, as a result of state-of-the-art engineering the offshore platform and the onshore production station is operated remotely from Shell’s New Plymouth offices.

The project is also innovative on the sustainability front – the production station has a storm water disposal system that includes a natural bio-filter of wetland plants and drill cuttings were disposed of at a local worm farm, digested and turned into compost.

 The first stage of the field development saw three long wells drilled out to the southern end of the onshore field using a large onshore rig.

Pohokura - companies involved

OGST Involvement

• EHL supplied complete diagnostic services for the marine support vessels used in the development of the offshore infrastructure, including hydraulic repairs, supply and installation of compensators, filters, nitrogen boosters, power packs, crane refurbishment.

• In addition to consultation and application during the development phase, ARABAC has a maintenance contract for the on and offshore infrastructure around Pohokura.

• Safety Solutions Ltd supplied process safety review facilitation and panel operator training for start-up and abnormal situations.

• ECL was extensively involved with the construction and commissioning of the project from design concept to commissioning and first gas, including programming and commissioning of a intelligent MCC panel, Delta V DCS, Hima SIS ESD system, Pipeline RTU units and the constriction programming and commissioning of the Omata tank Farm Automation system. Since commissioning ECL has the maintenance and 24/7 support contract for all automation systems as part of the TWL/STOS support contract.

• ITL provided detailed design of all major pressure vessels onsite, the TEG regeneration module and pulsation studies as required.

• M&O Pacific provided a comprehensive training and safety education programme, including BOSIET, Well Control, Confined Space, Gas Testing, Permit To Work, Fire, First Aid and HLO training