Vessels named

September 2, 1998, 01:00 CEST

Naming ceremonies for the Åsgard A oil production ship and the Shelf 5 drilling rig have been celebrated by Statoil today.

The Åsgard vessel was named at 10.02 this morning in the Aker Stord yard south of Bergen by Marit Arnstad, Norway's minister of petroleum and energy.

Workers at the yard have devoted almost two million hours to preparing the production ship for the challenges it will meet on the Statoil-operated field in the Norwegian Sea.

With outfitting at Aker Stord due to be completed in November, Åsgard A is scheduled to begin producing oil from the Halten Bank field in February.
The Shelf 5 rig has also been renamed Istiglaliyet (Independence) today at the Kaspmornefteflot (KNF) yard in Baku, capital of Azerbaijan.

Azeri president Heydar Aliyev smashed the champagne bottle against the rig's hull after two million workers had been devoted to converting the unit under BP's leadership.

This rig is intended to leave KNF for testing on 15 September. On 1 October, it will start extending an exploration well begun by Dada Gorgud during the summer on the Shah Deniz prospect. Statoil has a 25.5 per cent interest in this exploration area.