Drilling/Production news briefs, Aug. 4

TotalFinaElf � Agip � Stolt Offshore � Maritime Industrial Services � SynEnCo Energy ... Baker Hughes

France's TotalFinaElf SA and Agip SPA, a unit of Italy's ENI SPA, are seeking bidders to build onshore reinjection facilities to raise the output of Doroud oil field off Iran to 220,000 b/d from 90,000 b/d, according to a report by the Iranian news agency. The closing date for the tenders is Oct. 16. The onshore subcontract for the $1 billion buyback project was awarded in early 1999. It requires construction of gas and water reinjection facilities and related equipment to more than double reserves at Doroud, off the coast of Bushehr in the Persian Gulf. The offshore facilities for Doroud were awarded earlier this year to the Anglo-Norwegian firm, Stolt Offshore, which is working with Maritime Industrial Services of Sharjah, UAE (OGJ Online, Apr. 30, 2000).

SynEnCo Energy Inc., Calgary, says it is studying the feasibility of a $1.5 billion (Can.), 20,000 b/d oilsands plant in northern Alberta. The company acquired a 252 sq mile lease in January with an estimated 2.7 billion bbl of bitumen reserves. The surface mining operation could begin in 2004. SynEnCo said oilsands technology will now permit an economic operation at a production level of 20,000 b/d, which could eventually be increased to 80,000 b/d, subject to financing. SynEnCo is a private company headed by Mike Supple, a former senior executive with Suncor Inc., which operates an oilsands plant in the Fort McMurray, Alta., region.

The number of rigs actively exploring for oil and gas in the US increased to 981 this week from 975 last week and from 616 a year ago this week, reports Baker Hughes Inc. Of these rigs, 772 were exploring for gas, 208 were exploring for oil, and 1 was unspecified.

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