VIC/P57 JV to Convert GSP Britannia to a Production Platform

Australia-based 3D Oil Limited reported that the VIC/P57 Joint Venture (JV) has acquired the jackup GSP Britannia (200' ILC) to serve as a production platform for West Seahorse (WSH) oil field, which is located in 128 feet (39 meters) of water in the Gippsland Basin, Australia.

The JV signed a $12 million sale and purchase agreement for GSP Britannia plus a related $3 million service agreement July 18, with the purchase to be funded by the $28 million (AUD 27 million) farmin proceeds from Malaysia's Hibiscus Petroleum Berhad, who took a majority stake in VIC/P57 permit in August 2012.

GSP Britannia, a large 4 leg jackup, will be converted to a Mobile Offshore Production Unit (MOPU) and installed at the WSH location. 3D Oil said the MOPU will allow deck space for drilling of the WSH production and exploration wells with the use of de-mountable modular platform rig, which will be cost effective and will allow the JV to accelerate first oil from the field to potentially late 2014.

"Multiple rigs were considered during the selection process to identify a rig suitable for conversion to the WSH MOP, with a key factor being the ability to withstand conditions in the Bass Strait. Two potential rigs were identified, with the Britannia being selected on the basis of cost and suitability," 3D Oil's Managing Director Noel Newell said in a press release.

3D Oil said the purchase of GSP Britannia secures a vital element of infrastructure for the project. The JV is now planning to sell GSP Britannia to a MOPU contractor at or before the WSH project final investment decision for conversion to a MOPU. The JV then intends to lease back the Britannia MOPU for the life of the WSH oil field.

Hibiscus Petroleum's subsidiary Carnarvon Hibiscus Pty Ltd is WSH field operator with 50.1 percent shares in the VIC/P57 Joint Venture, while 3D Oil holds the remaining 49.9 percent.

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