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    Load-out at Aberdeen is milestone for Don Area development

    Projects and Operations // September 29, 2008

    A key component in the development of the Don Southwest and West Don fields in the North Sea has been loaded out at Aberdeen Harbour for shipment to the East Shetland Basin.

    The Mid Water Arch weighs approximately 110 tonnes and measures 16m x 10m x 7m and is, in effect, a huge buoyancy tank. It is believed to be the largest dynamic riser system yet for UK waters.

    It will be located 120m below the Northern Producer floating production facility (FPF) and 55m from the seabed to which it will be tethered. The system will support risers which will pass over it, delivering output from the two fields, the first UK development as operator for Petrofac Energy Developments Limited, in partnership with Valiant-Petroleum, Stratic Energy, Nippon and First Oil.

    The structure was fabricated by OIL Engineering at its York Street facility, across the road from the port's deep-water Clipper Quay where it was loaded onto specialist support vessel, CSO Wellservicer. It was transferred to the quayside on a low-loader in preparation for the load-out.

    Petrofac's Subsea Manager, Matt Huntington, said: "The proximity of facility and quayside meant that the harbour area was an ideal location to fabricate and ship the Mid Water Arch."

    Captain Brian Andrew, Aberdeen Harbour Board’s Assistant Harbour Master, said: "The availability of extensive quayside lay-down areas and deep-water berths at the port have proved a valuable asset in accommodating the shipment of oilfield structures."

    Aberdeen will also be the location for the shipment of new anchor chains for the upgraded Northern Producer and for long term logistical support.

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