South Venture Topsides Contract Awarded by Sable Owners

The owners of the Sable Project offshore Nova Scotia have awarded the fabrication contract for the South Venture topsides. Irving Shipbuilding Inc. of Halifax, Nova Scotia, was the successful bidder following a competitive process that involved a number of qualified suppliers.

A decision by Sable Project owners on whether to proceed with the proposed South Venture development is expected in early 2003. South Venture was included in Sable's development plan application, which was approved in 1997. Pending owner approval, the South Venture platform would begin operations in 2004.

Tier 1 of the Sable Project, which began production in 1999, includes 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. In addition to South Venture, the Tier 2 fields are Alma, scheduled to come on stream in late 2003, and Glenelg.

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