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BHP Billiton: Funds Approved for Mad Dog Phase 2 (USA)

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BHP Billiton today announced approval for US$708 million (BHP Billiton share) in precommitment funding for the Mad Dog Phase 2 project in the deepwater Gulf of Mexico. The funding will facilitate detailed engineering and the procurement of long lead time items related to the hull, topsides and subsea equipment.

The Mad Dog Phase 2 project is based on successful appraisal drilling which confirmed significant hydrocarbons in the southern portion of the Mad Dog field. The proposed project includes the development of a second spar facility with all subsea production and injection wells. The new facility is estimated to have a design capacity of approximately 130,000 barrels of oil per day that will be exported via the Mardi Gras Pipelines under existing agreements. A final investment decision is anticipated in calendar year 2013 with first production scheduled for calendar year 2018.

BHP Billiton Petroleum Chief Executive Officer, J. Michael Yeager, said: “Mad Dog Phase 2 will join our extensive Gulf of Mexico portfolio that includes Mad Dog and Atlantis as well as the Shenzi and Neptune platforms that we operate. The extension of this field will underpin continued valuable liquids production from the Gulf of Mexico and further enhance our growth profile.”

Mad Dog is a partnership between BP (operator, 60.5 percent share), BHP Billiton (23.9 percent) and Chevron (15.6 percent).

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UK: Reef Subsea Enters Charter Deal for Two Neptune Offshore’s Vessels

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Reef Subsea AS announced yesterday that they have entered into two 5-year charter agreements for two newly-built dynamically positioned subsea construction vessels – Neptune Despina and Neptune Larissa – from Neptune Offshore AS.

Simultaneously Neptune Subsea AS, the ship owning company of the vessels, welcomes Reef Subsea as a 25% shareholder. Both vessels have been recently delivered to Neptune Offshore and should be transferred to Reef Subsea by mid-January 2012.

The sister ships are newly-built IMR and Subsea Construction vessels. Designed with the Ulstein X-Bow, they have a faster transit speed in head seas, and enjoy reduced fuel  consumption. The design also provides several advantages in the foreship and on the working decks making the vessels more environmentally and work friendly (read more in foot note). Designed for worldwide and deepwater services, they are equipped with 150t SWL crane with active heave compensation, an enclosed ROV hangar with integrated LARS for the deployment of Work Class ROVs on both sides of the vessel, a large moonpool and up to 750m² of working deck.

The  150t crane is able to work in over 2000m water depth and, with the Reef Subsea’s WROVs, the vessels will be able to operate in water depths up to 3000m. Both vessels are expected to work in the North Sea and in Europe to deliver projects sanctioned by clients from both the Oil & Gas and the Renewable Energy industries.

The vessels will be renamed Reef Despina and Reef Larissa

Mark Preece, Reef Subsea Chief Executive Officer, said: “I am extremely pleased we can increase Reef Subsea’s fleet with two newly-built environmentally friendly vessels. Our fleet is now comprised of four vessels, three of which are new.  These new vessels provide added value in our service to our Clients and excellent offshore working conditions for the Project teams. Our new share ownership in Neptune Subsea represents an element of control for the years to come as well as a potential ability to increase our participation.”

Bjørn Endresen, Neptune Offshore Chief Executive Officer, commented: “On behalf of Neptune Offshore and Neptune Subsea, I am very proud to see the two Vessels being well received in the market place, and we believe the Vessels will serve Reef Subsea, its clients and the market in general in a prosperous way.”

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China: Sinopacific Group Delivers Ulstein Design OSV to Neptune Offshore

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In the afternoon of October 26, Sinopacific Shipbuilding Group, China’s leading shipbuilding enterprise held the ship naming and delivery ceremony at its Zhejiang shipyard for SX130, the global first fabricated model of Offshore Support Vessel (OSV) built for Neptune Offshore AS.

Gracing this occasion were Ningbo Feng Hua Municipal Party Secretary Rong Xuehai, Sinopacific Shipbuilding Group Chairman and CEO Simon Liang, Sinopacific Shipbuilding Group Executive Manager Lin Bo, and representatives from other government departments, the bank, the shipowner, and the ship inspection department.

Together, they witnessed the official naming of the SX130 sister pair as “Neptune Despina” and “Neptune Larissa”. This year alone, Sinopacific Shipbuilding Group has successfully delivered three global first fabricated high-end OSVs, such as GPA 696 in April and PX105 in September. With advanced construction capabilities that are rare among global OSV manufacturers, this reflects the group’s ability to manufacture deep-water OSVs and reinforces its position as a leading manufacturer of top-quality OSVs.

SX130 is a classic representative among high-end OSVs as a PSV / IMR vessel used for the inspection, maintenance and repair of offshore facilities to ensure normal and safe working condition. It can meet operational demands with efficient solution for satisfying the general demands of the offshore industry as well. The SX130 was designed by the world-renowned Norwegian design firm Ulstein Design AS, incorporating its exclusive Ulstein X-BowTM. This design guarantees steady navigation and operations in adverse offshore environments, proving higher safety levels. Furthermore, the reduction in sailing resistance effectively reduces fuel consumption and supports the goal of energy conservation. The construction and configuration of the SX130 follows the strict European standards, thereby allowing inspections, repairs and installations to be completed at depths of 3,000 meters and even in dire environments of the North Sea where environmental protection requirements are more demanding.

While the design and construction of high-end OSV was previously concentrated in Europe and North America, Sinopacific Shipbuilding Group has “emerged from the competition” based on a forward-looking strategy of differentiated products. Building on a unique strategic positioning of “Leadership in Niche Markets”, the group ultimately won the trust of and OSV orders from European and North American companies based on its merits of excellent project management and technical capabilities, world-class OSV construction facilities and the integrated capabilities of world-class designers and suppliers.

“OSV is akin to the commercial ship in the field of offshore engineering. Its broad application means that all offshore oil and gas exploration projects need it. So I am confident about the future prospects of the OSV market. Although we are taking mostly international OSV orders at present, the local high-end OSV market demand is growing and possesses tremendous market potential.” said Sinopacific Shipbuilding Group Chairman and CEO Simon Liang, “Opportunity only favours those who are prepared. We will continue to be strategically-driven, leveraging on a business model of innovative and advanced technologies to maintain our lead in the niche shipbuilding markets.”

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