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 HOUSTON, Dec. 9 /PRNewswire/ -- After almost four years of construction, Shell Oil Company's record-setting "Auger" tension leg platform is ready for installation in the deep water Gulf of Mexico. The huge platform is under tow from Freeport, Texas, en route to its permanent location 255 miles southeast of Houston.
 Installation will take place this month in 2,860 feet of water, setting a world water-depth record for a drilling and production platform. It will surpass the existing Gulf of Mexico record by more than 1,000 feet. "Auger is the most significant step yet into the deep water Gulf of Mexico for Shell and the industry," said Jack E. Little, Shell's executive vice president of Exploration and Production. "It opens a new chapter in industry's efforts to tap the tremendous potential of this deep water frontier."
 At the installation site, 12 tendons made of steel pipe, each more than a half mile in length, will be attached to the corners of the floating platform and anchored to footings on the sea floor. The entire Auger project will cost about $1.2 billion. Production is expected to begin in early 1994 and reach a peak daily rate of 46,000 barrels of oil and 125 million cubic feet of gas in the year 2001. Total recovery from the Auger field is estimated at 220 million barrels of oil and gas equivalent.
 Designed and engineered by Shell, the Auger platform will be installed on Garden Banks Block 426. The Auger field also extends into Garden Banks Blocks 427, 470 and 471. The discovery well was drilled in 1987 on Block 426. All four of the leases are 100 percent owned by Shell. Auger's deck was built by McDermott Inc. in Morgan City, La., and the hull was built by Belleli S.p.A. in Taranto, Italy. The deck and hull were connected at sea in October 1993, and the structure was then towed to Freeport for final hook up. The deck section with dimensions of 290 feet x 330 feet is about the size of two football fields side by side. Under tow, the entire structure extends above the water to the height of a 26-story building.
 Shell also recently announced plans to build its second tension leg platform to develop its Mars field in the Gulf of Mexico. The Mars tension leg platform will be installed in 1996 in 2,933 feet of water, surpassing Auger's water-depth record.
 -0- 12/9/93
 /CONTACT: Kitty Borah or Dee Dee Taylor, 713-241-4544, Houston, or Mike Sternesky, 212-632-4888, New York, all of Shell Oil Company/

CO: Shell Oil Company ST: Texas IN: OIL SU:

SP -- NY044 -- 2216 12/09/93 12:29 EST
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Publication:PR Newswire
Date:Dec 9, 1993

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