Statoil has Installed the First Jacket for South Pars 6 - 8

The first of three jackets for the wellhead platforms required in phases six-eight of the Statoil-operated South Pars development off Iran has now been installed.

Weighing some 1,500 tons, this structure was deployed in a depth of 65 meters in the Persian Gulf during the early morning of January 5th.

The job of attaching it to the seabed with four 180-meter piles will begin in about 14 days, reports Rune Mordal, project manager for fabricating the platforms.

According to the schedule, the job of drilling the first wells is due to start next month.

Weighing about the same as the first, the two other jackets are close to completion. Mr. Mordal confirms that the second is due for load-out and transport in late January or early February.

South Pars ranks as the world's largest offshore gas field and extends from the Iranian sector into Qatari waters, where it is known as the North field.

Statoil is offshore operator for development phases six-eight, which cover some 650 billion cubic meters of gas and roughly 700 million barrels of condensate (light oil).

The group has established a project organization in Teheran, the capital, together with its Iranian partner Petropars.

Iran's Isoico has secured an engineering, procurement, construction and installation (EPCI) contract from Statoil to build the jackets.

This work has been done at the contractor's yard in the Iranian port of Bandar Abbas, with installation being handled by Dutch-based Stolt Heavy Lifting Engineering BV.

Topside fabrication began recently in the Iranian port of Busher under an engineering, procurement and construction contract awarded to Iran's Sadra.

The first of the three wellhead platforms is due to be ready for production in early 2005.

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