Deck for Gudrun Platform in Place

Norway's Statoil reported Friday lunchtime (UK time) that the deck for its Gudrun platform in the North Sea has been lifted into place on the platform's steel undercarriage.

The lifting operation, which was three-and-a-half years in planning, took just 25 hours to achieve after leaving Aibel's shipyard in Haugesund, Norway. The platform deck was positioned on the undercarriage at 17:43  Thursday (Norwegian time), while the Gudrun platform reached its full height of 763 feet when its flare tower was lifted into place Friday morning.

"The operation has been safe and efficient with favorable sea conditions," Øyvind Haugsdal, Statoil's transport and installation manager for the Gudrun project, said in a company statement.

"It was an incredible feeling to watch it all go as planned."

The platform deck and undercarriage will now be connected and the platform will be prepared for production, which is due to start during the first quarter of 2014.

Statoil confirmed that the field development is on track to cost around $340 million (NOK 2 billion) less than the original investment framework of $3.6 billion (NOK 21 billion).

Gudrun is an oil and gas field situated in the middle of the Norwegian part of the North Sea, in license area PL025. It is estimated to contain 126.5 million barrels of oil equivalent in extractable reserves.

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