ROYAL DUTCH/SHELL UNIT TO START GAS FLOW OFF BRAZIL

Pecten do Brasil, a unit of the Royal Dutch/Shell Group, plans a September start-up of Merluza, the only natural gas field discovered off Brazil by a foreign operator. Plans call for initial production of 17.7 MMcfd from a single fixed platform in 130 m of water in the Santos basin 180 km off Sao Paulo state. Production is expected to build to 53 MMcfd 1 year later and stay at that volume for 12 years. Total investment in the project is pegged at $439 million.

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