Construction starts on Cygnus gas development


WEBWIRE – Wednesday, December 05, 2012

The ceremonial first cut of steel for the £1.4 billion (GBP) Cygnus gas field project was celebrated today by operator GDF SUEZ E&P UK and partners Centrica Energy and Bayerngas at Heerema Fabrication Group’s Hartlepool yard in North East England.

Mr Stuart Drummond, mayor of Hartlepool, performed the first cut of the steel, which will be used to build the 1,600 tonne Cygnus Alpha Wellhead Platform, the first of four platforms for the Cygnus field - the largest gas discovery in the Southern North Sea in the last 25 years.

After project sanction in August 2012, GDF SUEZ E&P UK placed a frame contract with Heerema Fabrication Group’s Hartlepool yard with the intent to place future call-off orders for the fabrication and commissioning of three of the four topsides and a compression module for the Cygnus development. The project is expected to create more than 1 million man hours of fabrication and around 450 people working on Heerema’s Hartlepool site for the project during 2014

Approximately £1.4 billion (GBP) is being invested in the Cygnus project, with the intent to maximise UK-based company content, creating 4,000 direct and indirect jobs during the construction phase.

Stuart Drummond, Mayor of Hartlepool, said: “I’m delighted that Heerema have once again secured a major international frame contract that will both safeguard and create hundreds of jobs in Hartlepool. It shows that, despite the global financial crisis, Hartlepool is well and truly open for business and there is great confidence in the town and our ability to deliver.”

Jean-Claude Perdigues, Managing Director, GDF SUEZ E&P UK said: “Today’s ceremony marks a major milestone in the flagship Cygnus project which is bringing substantial jobs and investment to the UK and notably to the Hartlepool area. Construction work has started swiftly and it is a privilege to witness the cutting of first steel for the Cygnus development, which is making such a positive contribution to the UK energy industry and wider economy.”

Greg McKenna, Southern North Sea Director, Centrica Energy Upstream, said: “The Cygnus project will boost jobs in the Hartlepool area and across the UK, and help to secure long term energy supplies for the future. We look forward to working with our partners and the team in Hartlepool to deliver this project safely.”

Bayerngas UK Ltd, Managing Director, Gerry Harrison commented: “Development planning always spans an extensive period and it’s refreshing to see the start of construction. We look forward to working with our partners and contractors to ensure a safe project, delivered on time and on budget.”

Wim Matthijssen, Chief Operating Officer of Heerema Fabrication Group said: “The first cut steel ceremony is an important milestone in the fabrication process of Cygnus, where we physically commence building the first of the topsides at our Hartlepool yard. Heerema has a reputation and proven track record on delivering high quality projects on time, and most importantly safely. ”

The Cygnus Partnership is led by operator GDF SUEZ E&P UK Ltd (38.75%) with partners Centrica (48.75%) and Bayerngas (12.5%).

NOTES

• Cygnus is located in the Southern North Sea, 150 kilometres off the coast of Lincolnshire. It has gross 2P reserves of approximately 18 billion cubic metres. First gas is expected in late 2015.
• The detailed development concept for the field consists of two drilling centres, four platforms and initially ten development wells; the planned export route is through the ETS pipeline system to the Bacton gas terminal in North Norfolk.
• The total expected future scope for the Heerema Fabrication Group’s Hartlepool yard will be approximately 10,500 tonnes of fabrication work comprising: 3,900 tonne Process & Utilities (PU) module, two bridges of 200 tonnes and 250 tonnes, a 250 tonne flare tower, a 1,600 tonne Wellhead module and a 1,500 tonne Compression module (which will be installed onto the PU module) all destined for the Cygnus alpha three bridge-linked complex. Fabrication work of the remote Cygnus Bravo development will consist of the 2,800 tonne Wellhead module.
• Initial contracts worth £375 million were signed in August 2012 to start the project. The majority of this (£337m) is being invested directly in the UK generating an initial 1,200 jobs.



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