AGR Group announced today that its wholly owned subsidiary, AGR Drilling Services Pty Ltd ("AGR DS"), has today signed a contract with Van Oord Australia Pty Ltd ("Van Oord") whereby AGR DS will provide excavation services to the Gorgon Project. Under the contract AGR DS will provide UK sister company AGR Subsea Ltd's well-proven ClayCutter X and SeaVator seabed excavation service lines on the Jansz Scarp, a steep subsea escarpment off the NW Australian coast.
The work, to be executed under the contract with Van Oord, will utilise the ClayCutter X as the primary excavation tool on the escarpment. The excavation will allow the pipeline to be laid in a more direct route to shore, presenting a substantial cost saving to the Gorgon Project. The AGR DS workscope is estimated to have a value of AUD 7 million and is expected to be completed in early 2011.
John Sands, AGR Subsea Ltd's Managing Director, said: "We are delighted to exploit the proven ClayCutter X equipment on this challenging project. Although the system gave exemplary performance in the Ormen Lange field we have made a number of improvements to deployment and positioning of the tools to meet the specific requirements of the Jansz Scarp excavation. The revised system will be able to cope with substantial changes in seabed height and inclination without any interruption in excavation activities".
The Gorgon Project is one of the world's largest natural gas projects and the largest single resource natural gas project in Australia's history. The Gorgon Project will develop the Greater Gorgon Area gas fields, located about 130 kilometres off the north-west coast of Western Australia. It includes the construction of a 15 million tonne per annum Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) plant on Barrow Island and a domestic gas plant with the capacity to provide 300 terajoules per day to supply gas to Western Australia.
Gorgon LNG will be off loaded via a four kilometre long loading jetty for transport to international markets. The domestic gas will be piped to the Western Australian mainland. The Gorgon Project is operated by Chevron. It is a joint venture of the Australian subsidiaries of Chevron (approximately 47 percent), ExxonMobil (25 percent), Shell (25 percent), Osaka Gas (1.25 percent), Tokyo Gas (one percent) and Chubu Electric Power (0.417 percent).