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Wed 17 Mar 2010 10:33 AM

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Maersk says all platforms ready for $6bn Qatar oil plan

Oil company says final 15 platforms installed as part of Al Shaheen Field project.

Maersk Oil Qatar on Wednesday announced that the final 15 platforms had been installed, along with other offshore facilities, as part of the $6bn Al Shaheen Field development plan.

Together with Qatar Petroleum, the company is developing Qatar's largest offshore oil reservoir, which will involve the drilling of more than 160 oil production and water injection wells, of which 131 have already been drilled.

Sheikh Faisal Al Thani, Maersk Oil Qatar acting managing director, said: "We are very pleased to have reached this important milestone within the project, safely and on schedule. We are now able to focus on optimising production from the Al Shaheen field, supporting Qatar in its vision to become one of the world's major energy players."

The field was originally deemed unviable, due to its tight thin reservoirs, making economic development extremely difficult.

However, Maersk Oil Qatar's use of horizontal well technology has enabled successful development of the field, with current production at some 300,000 barrels of oil per day.

Al-Thani added: "The size and vast technological scope of the project has made a significant contribution to the growth of Qatar's knowledge-based economy."

Hook-up and commissioning of the new platforms is underway and is expected to be finalised by the end of Q1 2010 while the inauguration of the Al Shaheen Field is scheduled for the second quarter of this year.

The project initially aimed to boost capacity at the field to 525,000 barrels per day from around 240,000 bpd but Qatar has limited actual output from the field to 300,000 bpd due to its adherence to OPEC quotas.

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