Dragados Completes PEMEX's Platform for the Akal-L Project

The construction of the EPC-78B production and compression module for PEMEX began at the end of 2001 when the Danish ship, the Sevedborg Guardian, arrived in Puerto Real from Mexico with 2,070 tons of structural sections to build the platform. This module, that could be considered a small refinery worth over 200 million euros, kept some 600 employees at Dragados Offshore's Cádiz yard busy for more than 20 months.

The module is part of the AKAL-L Project of the Mexican oil company and will be installed in the oil and gas extraction zone called Campo Cantarell-Sonda to the south of the Gulf of Mexico. After reaching its destination, this structure weighing approximately 12,000 tons will be connected to other platforms already in operation in the area. This will take until July of 2004.

The contract signed in 2001 by Dragados Industrial includes, the engineering for building the module, supply of materials and equipment, its construction, loading, docking, marine shipping, installation, testing and start-up. Around thirty Mexican specialists from Pemex Exploración y Producción and the Mexican Oil Institute have been working in Cádiz throughout the project.

This new oil and gas extraction, compression and processing platform for the Pemex Group is over 30 meters high and will have a daily capacity of producing around 500,000 barrels of crude oil and of compressing 520,000 million cubic feet of gas. The EPC-78 will also have automatic emergency shut-down, fire and gas detection, and process control systems.

The work at the Cádiz yard basically consisted of building each of the module's four structural levels which were hoisted one on top of the other as they were completed. When this was done, we began to install the equipment, piping and other elements that had been built in the yard shops to complete the project.

In addition to the crude oil production module that was loaded aboard the S-44 for shipment to the Gulf of Mexico by sliding it on special foundations, the Cadiz yard also built three turbocompressors and a generator that together weigh 3,000 tons.

The 35 day voyage that this "refinery" is starting today towards the Sonda Cantarell production zone in the Gulf of Mexico will follow the route used by Christopher Columbus stopping at the Canary Islands. Once the module and other structures reach their destination, Dragados Offshore will begin to install them at high sea with the aid of the floating crane Saipem 7000 that has two 7,000 ton cranes. This process will take until the summer of 2004 and will end with the interconnection of the platform, the start-up tests and final delivery to Pemex. The crude oil and gas from the Mexican company's new production facilities will be conveyed through submarine lines to the process plants on the coast from where they will be marketed.

The construction, shipping and installation of the EPC-78B was the third contract that Grupo Dragados signed with Pemex for the Cantarell Field in 2001. The first was to build a gas compressing and process platform for the Akal GC project and the second was a 2,100 ton platform for living quarters and services plus a connection bridge under turn-key contract.

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