Newcastle offshore firm bags £150m Apache contract

A UK offshore engineering firm has won a £150m contract from Apache, one of the biggest players in the oil and gas arena. Offshore Group Newcastle will build an oil […]

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By Kelvin Ross

A UK offshore engineering firm has won a £150m contract from Apache, one of the biggest players in the oil and gas arena.

Offshore Group Newcastle will build an oil production platform for the UK Forties field, which Apache Corp bought from BP in 2003.

The deal announced today is one of the biggest North Sea contracts recently signed and will create more than 1000 manufacturing jobs at OGN Group’s Hadrian Yard site in on the River Tyne.

Hadrian Yard will provide the manufacturing and administration facilities for the design and construction of the platform, which will be bridge-linked to the existing Forties Alpha installation.

Up to 80% of the construction materials, worth around £40m, are expected to be sourced from the UK. Construction of the platform is due for completion in July 2012, when it will be towed andinstalled inthe Forties Field.

OGN chairman Dennis Clark said: “The North Sea oil and gas market is coming back to life and infrastructure investment looks set to increase further, which is great for Tyneside and the North East region.”

James House, Apache’s North Sea managing director, added: “Our objective was to ensure that we selected an organisation that displayed the key qualities of focus, competence, and a sense of urgency – an organisation that could share Apache’s goals and work collaboratively to meet the challenges and demands of this important project for Apache.

“This project will provide Apache with 18 new slots for drilling additional development wells to increase the ultimate recovery from the prolific Forties field, the largest hydrocarbon discovery in the UK North Sea.”

Energy Minister Charles Hendry said: “This is welcome news. As well as bringing investment and jobs to the North East, projects like this play a vital role in ensuring we have secure energy supplies throughout the UK.

“Although we are movingtowards a low-carbon future, we will remain dependent on oil and gas for years to come, and this government is resolved in encouraging the safe development of our resources in the North Sea.”