Chevron to replace Tahiti spar's mooring shackles

Chevron Corp. said it is pursuing "alternate actions" to ensure new shackles are available "in the shortest time-frame possible" for its Tahiti project in deepwater Gulf of Mexico.

Jul 12th, 2007

By OGJ editors
HOUSTON, July 12 -- Chevron Corp. said it is pursuing "alternate actions" to ensure new shackles are available "in the shortest time-frame possible" for its Tahiti project in deepwater Gulf of Mexico, after a second round of tests identified a metallurgical problem with the facility's existing mooring shackles.

Several scenarios are being considered, but Chevron does not yet have an "absolute clear picture" as to when the project will be operational, a company spokesman said. The $3.5 billion project 190 miles south of New Orleans was scheduled for completion in mid-2008.

Major components of the project are nearing completion, and installation work is expected to continue once timing for the new shackles is determined.

The company also has initiated an investigation to uncover why initial tests failed to identify the problems with the shackles, the spokesman said.

Additional tests were conducted after Chevron's contractor discovered a metallurgical problem with shackles on a similar installation for another company. Metallurgical problems were subsequently discovered in the Tahiti shackles as well.

Chevron says the spar's integrity is not impacted by the problem with the mooring shackles, as they are not part of the spar hull.

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