Platform Hibernia project coming together

Feb 28, 1997 01:00 AM

Canada's massive Hibernia oil project off the coast of Newfoundland moved a step closer to production when recently the two major parts of its platform were fit together in an a big engineering operation. Hibernia's 58,000-tonne "topsides" unit, which includes production facilities and living quarters, was towed by a flotilla of tugboats overnight into a deep water cove about 1 mile (1.5 km) from its construction site at Bull Arm on Newfoundland's east coast. Once there, it was fitted atop the platform's 279-foot (85 metre) concrete "gravity base structure" that will sit on the floor of the Atlantic Ocean, 196 miles (315 km) east of Newfoundland's capital of Saint John's. The "mating" operation began late after poor weather conditions postponed the procedure for five days. "This is our first big milestone of 1997," Harvey Smith, president of Hibernia Management and Development Co., the projects operating company, said. The entire unit, which stands as tall as a 75 storey building, is scheduled to be towed to the production site in early June and first production is scheduled for December. The $ 4.3 bn project is expected to produce 135,000 barrels of oil per day over its 18-year life. First discovered in 1979, Hibernia will be Canada's first major producing offshore oil project. Partners in the project include Petro-Canada with 20 %, Mobil Oil Canada Ltd with 33.125 %, with 6.5 %, the government of Canada with 8.5 % and Norsk Hydro with 5 %.

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