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More Siri delay

January 20, 1999, 08:00 CET

A start to production from Statoil's Siri development in the Danish North Sea has again been postponed.

According to project manager Rune Mordal, 28 February now represents a realistic date for bringing this small field on stream. It was originally due to start flowing on 11 November.

That date had to be given up because of the unusually bad weather in the North Sea this autumn and winter. Strong winds and high waves made it impossible to install the production platform, which twice had to be towed to shelter in southern Norway.

The project team finally succeeded in placing the installation on the field's seabed storage tank on 19 November, and revised plans called for production to begin in mid-January. However, this has proved impossible.

"The main reason for these big delays is the seven weeks we lost last autumn because of the weather," Mr Mordal emphasises.

Since the platform was installed, work to commission the field for operation has been subject to major hold-ups.

Fabricator Kværner Oil & Gas, which is responsible for commissioning, demobilised its workforce in cooperation with Statoil for a time in order to reduce the heavy costs associated with waiting on weather.

However, it then proved difficult to secure sufficient personnel when work resumed.

A wellhead module is currently being hooked up to the rest of the Siri installation. Dutch rig Noble George Sauvageau, which has drilled two of nine wells planned for the field, is providing berths for 84 Kværner personnel. Another 90 staff from the contractor and Statoil occupy the platform's own living quarters.

Noble George Sauvageau will continue to serve as an accommodation unit until oil production begins in late February-early March, Mr Mordal explains. The rig is then scheduled to resume work on the wells.