2013-06-13 MBC and Project Ikhwezi

MBC and Project Ikhwezi


MBC has a long relationship with PetroSA (PSA) and an active partner for many years. Our focus has been on the provision of suitable Anchor Handling Tugs and Supply vessels meeting the standards of the PSA open tender requirements. MBC has also from the start maintained close operational interface with PSA to ensure that the stringent working and safety standards and requirements are adhered to by the provided vessels. 

This longstanding relationship has formed the foundation of our involvement  in Project Ikhwezi, a new development vital to the PSA exploration activities in the Southern Cape waters.

Ikhwezi is the Nguni word for ‘morning star’. It is one of the most strategically important initiatives PetroSA has ever undertaken.

Approved by the PetroSA Board in March 2011, Project Ikhwezi is set to play an instrumental role in sustaining the life of the gas-to-liquids (GTL) refinery in Mossel Bay. It involves tapping into gas reserves in Petro SA’s F-O field, which is located 40km south-east of the F-A production platform off the south coast of South Africa.

First gas is scheduled to flow from the F-O field in May 2013 and it is estimated that production will continue for around six years. Further development of other gas prospects near the F-O field could potentially help to sustain the life of the Mossel Bay refinery until 2025.

The Project Ikhwezi story starts in 2009, when PetroSA drilled eight wells, two of which were F-O appraisal wells. The current plan is based on drilling five long horizontal wells into the complex and challenging target formations. The five wells will be around 1.5km long and it will take around six months to complete each one. In parallel, work will proceed on installing the subsea pipelines and production infrastructure before tying the pipelines back to the Mossel Bay refinery via the F-A platform.

MBC delivered the AHTS tug, the Bourbon Ulysse,  to PSA in October 2012 to support Project Ikhwezi and the drilling rig, the “Ensco 5001”.  The rig was delivered to PSA in January 2013, and towed by the Bourbon Ulysse, from Cape Town to the F-O Field with MBC  operations assistant  Primrose Mdadane on board. This gave Primrose, a qualified 3rd officer, the opportunity to observe the towing and stationing of the rig first hand.

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The Bourbon Ulysse is expected to support Project Ihkwezi for approximately 3 years. MBC off-shore section, with General Manager, Daniel Ngubane, will continue to liaise closely with PSA to contribute to the success of Project Ihkwezi.   

Project Ihkwezi Information: