Vessel for Pemex Seismic Survey Delayed in Norway

The Geo Celtic vessel to be used by geotechnical services firm Fugro for a 3D seismic exploration contract in the Gulf of Mexico has been delayed in Bergen, Norway, Fugro-Geoteam AS managing director in Oslo, Hans Meyer, told BNamericas.

Mexican state oil company Pemex's E&P unit (PEP) in June awarded Fugro the 889mn-peso (US$81.5mn) Anegada-Labay contract. The works entail evaluation of a 15,082km2 area offshore Veracruz state for PEP's Golfo de México Sur project.

The vessel was expected to arrive at the end of September or the beginning of October, but completion delays have pushed the arrival date back to roughly October 22-23, Meyer said.

"If you look at all the conversions and all the new builds, we are probably on the lucky side because every single new build is being delayed these days. And it is not necessarily because of the shipyard; it is because of the subcontractors - electrical, pipe fittings and so on. There are no people; there are no parts," Meyer said.

"Norway is known as a quality provider of new build ships, so of course there is tremendous pressure on the shipyard and the subcontractors. But if you go and check any shipyard in Europe, in Spain, and even in the Far East, it is extremely busy," Meyer said.

Departure is expected this weekend following the final remaining sea trial.

The vessel was built by Bergen Shipyards BMV, which is fully booked through 2010. Fugro is chartering the vessel from Norwegian shipping company Ellen Forland Rederi.

Seismic works are scheduled to take 483 days to complete, and the data acquired will help PEP define underground structural and stratigraphic characteristics to confirm possible hydrocarbons-bearing traps.

The 101m-long vessel is the largest purpose-built seismic vessel in the world and is capable of deploying 12 solid Sercel streamers of up to 8km in length.

Pemex's manager of technological transfer and liaison Arturo Perez-Aldana attended the inauguration of the vessel on August 18, according to an earlier Fugro statement.

"I am impressed by the vessel. Geo Celtic is perfect for big jobs. It possesses advanced seismic technology and has possibilities for easy integration of new technologies in the future," Perez-Aldana said in the statement.

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