Thursday, 23 May 2013 14:30

GDF SUEZ E&P UK awards Bifab for the construction of the Cygnus Quarters & Utilities platform

 (Back L-R) Rt Hon Edward Davey MP, Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change, Jean-Marie Dauger, Executive Vice-President of GDF SUEZ, (Front L-R) John Robertson, Managing Director, Burntisland Fabrications and Jean-Claude Perdigues, Managing Director, GDF SUEZ E&P UK (Back L-R) Rt Hon Edward Davey MP, Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change, Jean-Marie Dauger, Executive Vice-President of GDF SUEZ, (Front L-R) John Robertson, Managing Director, Burntisland Fabrications and Jean-Claude Perdigues, Managing Director, GDF SUEZ E&P UK

The Rt Hon Edward Davey MP, Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change, joined GDF SUEZ E&P UK in Aberdeen yesterday to witness the signing of another major contract with the UK supply chain for the Cygnus project.


The deal with Burntisland Fabrication Ltd (BiFab) to construct the accommodation platform of the GDF SUEZ operated Cygnus development is one of several partnerships helping to deliver more investment and new jobs for UK companies.

Having signed the Field Development Plan when the Cygnus Project was sanctioned in August 2012, the Secretary of State oversaw the formal award of the contract for the construction of the Quarters and Utilities platform (QU) to Fife based BiFab. The contract covers the fabrication and construction services for the platform, including the design, procurement, pre-commissioning assistance, weighing and load-out. The project schedule sees mechanical completion by Q4 2014 and onshore commissioning complete by Q1 2015, with construction manpower on the QU estimated to peak at 320, including subcontractors.

Edward Davey MP, UK Secretary of State, said: “Cygnus is one of the most important projects currently being undertaken in the Southern North Sea and clearly demonstrates the ability of the UK supply chain to complete on the global stage. GDF SUEZ and the Cygnus partnership are demonstrating the great potential that still exists in UK waters for the oil and gas industry and the Government remains committed to providing the right investment environment for future projects.”

Jean-Marie Dauger, Executive Vice-President of GDF SUEZ, in charge of the Global Gas & LNG Business Line, commented: “Cygnus is a major project for the UK gas industry and the Secretary of State’s presence is recognition of the significance of this field for the UK, and of GDF SUEZ’ role in finding and developing it. This contract award further demonstrates our longstanding commitment to develop a mutually beneficial relationship with a highly qualified and competitive supply chain, which we are pleased to continue supporting. Along with other fabrication partners, Bifab shares our focus on safety and quality and we look forward to working closely together over the coming years as we develop the Cygnus project.”

Greg McKenna, Regional Director - Southern North Sea, Centrica Energy Upstream, said: “Cygnus continues to create significant new job opportunities for the UK, delivering on its promise to have a positive impact on our energy sector and the wider economy. For Centrica, this £1.4 billion investment represents a critical part of unlocking the Southern North Sea basin, which enables us to secure more UK gas for our customers.”

Gerry Harrison, Managing Director, Bayerngas UK, commented: “We are pleased to see this contract award which is evidence of a strong and competitive supply chain in the UK. Bayerngas is particularly pleased that Cygnus contract awards have helped BiFab to commit to a number of apprenticeships at their construction facilities, creating the potential for future competitiveness.“

John Robertson, Managing Director, Burntisland Fabrications commented: “We are very pleased to have been awarded a second significant contract for the build of the Cygnus platforms. The award of this contract has allowed us to recruit an additional 100 people across our operations at Methil, Arnish and Burntisland, further bolstering the 100 new positions already created for the Cygnus jackets project, which included 15 new apprentice roles. There is a good working relationship between all companies involved in delivering the Cygnus Project on time and safely.”

BiFab were previously awarded the contract for the design and fabrication of the jackets for all four platforms on the field following sanction of the project. Overall, the Cygnus partnership is investing £1.4 billion (GBP) in the development of the Cygnus field and is creating 4,000 direct and indirect jobs across the UK during the construction phase.

Due to be operational by the end of 2015 and led by operator GDF SUEZ E&P UK (38.75%) with partners Centrica (48.75%) and Bayerngas (12.5%), the Cygnus field is the largest discovery in the Southern North Sea in 25 years. Peak gas production from 2016 is expected to account for 5% of UK domestic gas production, meeting the demand of almost 1.5 million homes in the country.

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.

At plateau in 2016, Cygnus will be the UK's second largest producing gas field and will account for about 9% of the GDF SUEZ Group’s global gas production.
· UK companies already benefiting from contracts for the Cygnus project include:

o Heerema Fabrication Group’s Hartlepool yard for the fabrication and commissioning of the Alpha Wellhead and Production Utilities (PU) platform topsides.
o Burntisland Fabrication (BiFab) for the engineering, procurement and construction of the Cygnus jackets and piles, as well as the construction of the Quarters & Utilities (QU) platform. This work will be undertaken at their facilities in Methil and Burntisland in Fife, Scotland, and Arnish on the Isle of Lewis.
o AMEC Group Ltd for the detailed engineering design contract. The work is progressing at their Farringdon office in London.
o Saipem Ltd for the installation of the Main 50km export pipeline from the platform to the ETS line, the diving works and the installation of the 7km infield line from the Bravo Wellhead platform to the Alpha Complex. Project run from London office.
o Ensco Plc, headquartered in London, for the Ensco 80 rig to drill the 10 horizontal wells required for this development.
o Seaway Heavy Lifting Contractors Ltd for the provision of transport and installation services for the jackets, platforms and subsea structures.
o Isleburn in Invergordon for the fabrication of the subsea structures, WYE manifold and SSIV.

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