BP's Thunder Horse Platform Delayed 3-6 Months

HOUSTON, Jul 29, 2005 (Dow Jones Commodities News via Comtex)

Production at BP PLC's (BP) storm-damaged Thunder Horse oil platform in the Gulf of Mexico probably won't be delayed more than three to six months, a contractor for the project said Thursday.

Bernard Duroc-Danner, chief executive of Weatherford International Ltd. (WFT), offered his estimate during a conference call with analysts. Weatherford provides drilling tools and related services for the BP project.

BP said earlier this month that the giant platform was found to be leaning in the water when workers returned to the offshore facility after having been evacuated at the approach of Hurricane Dennis. There was concern that the structure might sink, which would have affected BP's medium-to-long-term production outlook.

The platform, which is the center of the Thunder Horse field, the largest oil and gas discovery in the history of the Gulf, was due to hit its first oil late this year.

Duroc-Danner said his estimate is based on indications from BP that the damage isn't as bad as once thought.

"It's in structurally much better shape than was once feared," he said.

Copyright (c) 2005 Dow Jones & Company, Inc.

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