The owners of the Sable Offshore Energy Project (SOEP), off Nova Scotia, announced Monday the awarding of contracts for Tier 2, or second phase, of the project that is expected to produce a total in excess of 600 MMcf/d and 24 thousand bbl/d of liquids by 2003 when both tiers are up and running, according to estimates by part-owner ExxonMobil. Current production averages 550 MMcf/d of sales gas and 20,000 bbl of natural gas liquids.

Tier 1 of the Sable Project, which began production in 1999, includes three offshore platforms — Thebaud, North Triumph and Venture — and two onshore processing plants.

The awards on Monday include contract option awards for preliminary engineering for the South Venture field development and conceptual engineering for offshore compression and contracts for Alma field development facilities.

The contracted engineering work will assist with the development decisions regarding the South Venture field and a separate compression platform, similar in size to the Thebaud central processing platform. This engineering work has been awarded to a company in Halifax.

Both the South Venture development and offshore compression were included in Sable’s development plan application, which was approved in 1997. If ultimately approved by the Sable Project owners, the South Venture platform could begin operations in 2004 and the compression platform in 2005.

Alma contract awards include topsides fabrication, to be completed in the Gulf Coast, and pipeline coating, which will be done in Sheet Harbour, NS.

The Tier 2 fields are Alma, which recently received development funding approval by the owners and is expected to come on stream in late 2003, and two others slated for potential development, South Venture and Glenelg. Alma will develop 230 Bcf. Part-owner Shell Canada recently revised downward its estimate of its share of available reserves from 1.1 Tcf to 800 Bcf, indicating gas was not as plentiful as originally believed. Initial estimates set the reserves at 3.1 Tcf. Extrapolating Shell’s recent revision would put total reserves at 2.6 Tcf. ExxonMobil said Shell’s latest estimates are more in line with its own findings (see Daily GPI, Feb. 1).

The offshore assets of the Sable Project are owned by ExxonMobil Canada (50.8%), Shell Canada (31.3%), Imperial Oil Resources (9%), Emera (8.4%) and Mosbacher Operating Ltd. (0.5%).

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