Drilling-production news briefs, June 15

Sable Offshore Energy Project's Venture platform shut in; Noble, INA form JV to operate jack up.


Production of natural gas at the Venture platform near Sable Island off Nova Scotia is shut in after a leak was found in the fire-fighting system June 6. Production at the platform, which is responsible for about half of the gas output from the Sable Offshore Energy Project, will be shut down indefinitely until the system is fixed. The Thebaud and North Triumph platforms will continue production. Production from these platforms will be adjusted to compensate for the Venture shutdown. The problem is in a section of fiber-reinforced plastic piping in the firewater system, which has leaked in previous tests. Gas started flowing from the platforms Dec. 31 but was stopped Jan. 7 for a period due to problems in the subsea pipeline. The project delivers gas to Atlantic Canada and New England markets.

Noble Drilling Corp., Houston, has formed a 50-50 joint venture with Crosco Integrated Drilling & Well Services Co., a wholly owned subsidiary of Croatian state firm Industrija Nafte d.d. Zagreb. The JV will upgrade, own, and operate the Panon, a 300-ft jack up rig. Noble will manage the upgrade, marketing, and operation of the rig, while Crosco will provide key operations and technical personnel, including a significant portion of the rig crews. The rig will be upgraded from its current slot configuration to a cantilevered unit following its planned mobilization from the Mediterranean to the Persian Gulf. The rig is expected to be available for service in early 2001, at which time the JV will pursue contract opportunities worldwide.

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