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Laytime extended

February 15, 1999, 08:00 CET

Pipelaying for Europipe II has been extended by two months to ensure that this gas trunkline begins operating on 1 October as planned.

The project has been struggling during the winter with reduced laying capacity, primarily because the weather has been worse than expected and because of two accidents with the Solitaire laybarge.

After a review of progress, the Europipe II partners have resolved to extend the laying period until 26 May.

Plans for final tie-ins and for testing the pipeline have been optimised, reports project director Roar Jensen. This permits a longer pipelaying period.

"Together with mobilising the Semac laybarge, the extended laytime will ensure that gas deliveries through Europipe II can begin on schedule."

Lying off south-west Norway, Solitaire is currently laying two-three kilometres daily. The Castoro Sei barge has just finished its share of the work, which ran from Europipe II's midpoint in the Danish North Sea towards the German coast.

Semac will be mobilised on 23 February to continue work in the German North Sea after picking up the line where it was left by Castoro Sei.

Work with Europipe II on land at Bokn north of Stavanger, and with the land line and terminal in Germany, are approaching completion on schedule. Necessary modifications on the two Draupner platforms in the Norwegian North Sea have been completed.