Second Phase Contracts of Sable Offshore Awarded

The owners of the Sable Project offshore Nova Scotia announced the awarding of contracts for Tier 2, or second phase, of the project. These include contract option awards for preliminary engineering for the South Venture field development and conceptual engineering for offshore compression and contracts for Alma field development facilities.

The contracted engineering work will assist with the development decisions regarding the South Venture field and a separate compression platform, similar in size to the Thebaud central processing platform. This engineering work has been awarded to a company in Halifax, Nova Scotia.

Both the South Venture development and offshore compression were included in Sable's development plan application, which was approved in 1997. If ultimately approved by the Sable Project owners, the South Venture platform could begin operations in 2004 and the compression platform in 2005.

Alma contract awards include topsides fabrication, to be completed in the Gulf Coast, and pipeline coating, which will be done in Sheet Harbour, Nova Scotia.

Tier 1 of the Sable Project, which began production in 1999, included three offshore platforms -- Thebaud, North Triumph and Venture -- and two onshore processing plants. Current daily production averages 550 million cubic feet of sales gas and 20,000 barrels of natural gas liquids.

The Tier 2 fields are Alma, which recently received development funding approval by the owners and is expected to come on stream in late 2003, and two others slated for potential development, South Venture and Glenelg. Alma will develop 230 billion cubic feet of natural gas.

The offshore assets of the Sable Project are owned by ExxonMobil Canada (50.8%), Shell Canada (31.3%), Imperial Oil Resources (9%), Emera (8.4%) and Mosbacher Operating Ltd. (0.5%).