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Cal Dive Acquires 20% Stake in Deepwater Independence Hub

Cal Dive Acquires 20% Stake in Deepwater Independence Hub

Drilling services company Cal Dive International Inc. last week acquired a 20% interest in the planned deepwater Independence Hub LLC from Enterprise Products Partners LP for an undisclosed amount of money. Installation of the platform is scheduled for late 2006, and first natural gas production is expected in 2007.

Independence Hub, which will be located in Mississippi Canyon block 920 in 8,000 feet of water, previously executed agreements with the Atwater Valley Producers Group to dedicate and process natural gas and condensate production on the hub from fields in the Atwater Valley, DeSoto Canyon and Lloyd Ridge areas of the Gulf of Mexico deepwater (see NGI, Nov. 15).

The five exploration and production companies that make up the producers group, Anadarko Petroleum Corp., Dominion Exploration & Production Inc., Kerr-McGee Oil & Gas Corp., Spinnaker Exploration Co. and Devon Energy Corp., also have dedicated future production from several undeveloped blocks in the area for processing. Anadarko will operate the platform.

The 105-foot deep-draft, semi-submersible platform is being built by Enterprise to serve as a regional hub for natural gas production from multiple ultra-deepwater fields in the previously untapped eastern Gulf of Mexico. The platform, which is estimated to cost approximately $385 million, will be capable of processing 850 MMcf/d. It is designed to process production from six anchor fields and has excess payload capacity to tie back up to 10 additional fields. The platform is well underway with all key engineering and fabrication contracts already in place, according to Enterprise.

Martin Ferron, Cal Dive's president, said, "With our involvement at the Marco Polo TLP [tension leg platform] and now the Independence Hub platform, we believe this demonstrates the repeatability of our Production Facilities business segment model. This model involves the provision of floating production systems on a fixed demand payment plus tariff basis, while providing opportunities for both marine contracting work and proven undeveloped reservoir acquisitions."

Cal Dive is headquartered in Houston, and it provides alternate solutions to the oil and gas industry worldwide for marginal field development, alternative development plans, field life extension and abandonment, with service lines including marine diving services, robotics, well operations, facilities ownership and oil and gas production.

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