The oil & gas industry is known to be incredibly lucrative. After all, fossil fuels still dominate the majority of the world’s energy consumption due to its efficient power generation. As such, companies both big and small often jump at the opportunity to claim any large oil & gas fields that they can find.

Unfortunately, oil & gas is a resource that is becoming increasingly rare with each passing year. However there are quite a number of marginal fields in existence that have yet to exploited. Most companies tend to overlook these fields as they often do not contain enough resources to justify the cost of setting up an offshore platform to extract the materials.

In fact, the three key points that define a marginal field are:

  • Very small sizes of reserves/pool to the extent of not being economically viable
  • Lack of infrastructure in the vicinity and profitable consumers
  • Prohibitive development costs, fiscal levies and technological constraints

Recently, ZEE Engineering Sdn Bhd has developed a solution to this issue. That solution is the ZEEPod, a minimalist offshore platform designed to extract oil and gas autonomously. A typical offshore platform would be too large and expensive to use on a marginal field. The ZEEPod however, is a small, reusable, and efficient solution that makes marginal field development economically viable, especially since the platform can be easily moved to another field.

The first of these platforms was installed and commissioned in July 2019 at the Tembikai Field (150km offshore Terengganu, Malaysia) for Vestigo Petroleum Sdn Bhd, a subsidiary of Malaysia’s Petroliam Nasional Berhad (Petronas).

The successful installation of the facility is already showing results. Many local oil majors as well as international oil companies in India, Indonesia, Thailand, Myanmar, and Vietnam have already made inquiries on the platform. As ZEEPod is a Malaysian invention, it aligns well with the overall development plan of the local oil and gas industry and the country’s aspiration to become a regional oil and gas hub.

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