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The Van Gogh oil field off the Western Australian coast, 53 kilometres north west of Exmouth, began commercial production in February 2010, at a production rate of 40,000 barrels of oil a day. The Van Gough oil field construction began in 400 metres of water in April 2007, after being discovered in 2003. The operation is jointly owned by Apache Corporation and INPEX.

Oil From the Van Gogh oil Field is Taken to the 'Ningaloo Vision' for Processing

The Van Gogh off-shore oil field consists of 19 production wells, two water injection wells and one gas injection well. The oil taken from the production wells is processed and stored onboard a floating production, storage and off-loading (FPSO) vessel, 'Ningaloo Vision.' The 'Ningaloo Vision' is smaller than other FPSO's in the same area, at 101,000 tonnes when fully loaded, but is has a storage capacity of around 620,000 barrels of oil and an oil processing capacity of 63,000 barrels of oil a day. Before the 'Ningaloo Vision' was refurbished to become a FPSO it was an Alframax sized oil tanker 'MT Kudam' that was commissioned in early 2009. The ship is designed to be able to disengage from its oil field connections and leave the area under its own power when it comes under the influence of extremely bad weather such as tropical cyclones.

Van Gogh is a Joint Venture Between Apache Corporation and INPEX

The operating company,Apache Energy, is the Australian operating subsidiary company of United States based oil and gas exploration and production company, Apache Corporation, which fully owns the joint venture partner, Apache Northwest. The other part of the joint venture is INPEX Alpha of Japan.

Van Gogh Sub-sea Operation is Connected to the Floating FPSO 'Ningaloo Vision'

Development of the Van Gogh sub-sea oil field involved the installation of under-water well production equipment that it had to connect to the floating FPSO vessel, 'Ningaloo Vision.' The oil is taken from the production wells and processed onboard the 'Ningaloo Vision' before being exported from the vessel. The FPSO is moored to the floor of the ocean by means of a disconnectable turrent mooring buoy. The buoy also has flexible flowlines that are linked to the two underwater manifolds and the production well heads, attached to it.

The production fluids gathered at the underwater production manifolds are taken through two 10 inch production flowlines and dynamic risers to reach the moored FPSO turrent manifold. All processing takes place on board the 'Ningaloo Vision.' These facilities process the production fluids, drawn up from the sub-sea wells, into export quality specification oil. This product is then stored onboard while awaiting off-loading. The development is expected to have a life of between 12 and 15 years.

Major contracts for the development of the Van Gogh oil well were awarded to the following:

Subsea 7 (then Acergy) – the installation of the complete infrastructure related to the FPSO such as the DTM buoy, umbilicals, flowlines, risers and moorings

MacGregor – the supply of the control systems onboard the FPSO

Jumbo Shipping – transporting the DTM buoy to the Van Gogh oil fieldCameron – the supply of the sub-sea manifolds, sub-sea trees and other underwater equipment

Keppel 9 (sub-contracted by ProSafe) – the conversion work required onboard the 'Ningaloo Vision.'


Apache Corporation

Founded in 1954 in Minneapolis, Minnesota,as Apache Oil Corporation and in 1956, the company was one of the first firms to register a drilling program with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission.The company’s name was changed to Apache Corporation in 1960, and for the next two decades more


Apache Corporation
100 St Georges Terrace, Level 9
Perth, WA 6000



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