Prospects slowly brighten for operations off Europe

The hull of Octabuoy, a dry-tree drilling, completion, workover, and storage facility on a semisubmersible production platform, is under construction in China for ATP Oil & Gas Corp., Houston. The reusable unit's first deployment will be in the UK North Sea at Cheviot oil and gas field, where production is to start in 2012-13. The vessel can work in 500-9,500 ft of water, accommodate as many as 12 wells, and handle 25,000 b/d and 50 MMcfd. Installed cost is $600 million, and ATP projects a 50-year useful life. ATP has 100% working interest in Cheviot. Photo courtesy of ATP Oil & Gas.First half 2010 drilling is up off the UK and slightly lower off Norway as the US gulf oil spill an...

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