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SEARCH FOR NEW PARTNER FORCES HIBERNIA SLOWDOWN

SEARCH FOR NEW PARTNER FORCES HIBERNIA SLOWDOWN
 ST. JOHN'S, Nfld., Feb. 14 /CNW/ - Mobil Oil Canada, Petro-Canada and Chevron Canada Resources today announced they have advised the Federal Government and the Government of Newfoundland and Labrador that construction on the Hibernia project will be rescheduled and slowed down beginning next week. In a joint statement, the three remaining owners said the delay is a direct result of Gulf Canada's withdrawal from the Grand Banks oil development project.
 Hibernia Executive Committee Chairman Norman McIntyre stressed that although the message delivered by the remaining owners was a difficult one, "Our planned actions are being taken to ensure every effort is being made to maintain reasonable progress on the development of Hibernia."
 McIntyre said the slowdown will mean that starting Monday, February 17, no new work will be initiated and most work currently under way will be rescheduled. While work at Bull Arm on the concrete gravity base for the production platform will be stopped immediately, other work at the site will continue. In addition, contract awards for the supermodules (the production facilities for the platform) will be delayed. Discussions will begin immediately with contractors to determine the implications of these actions on their work and staffing levels.
 The effect of these actions will be to cut projected daily expenditures from $3 million per day to about $1.5 million per day, reduce employment levels by 500 to 600 people, and delay completion of the project from 1996 to 1997. There will, however, be more than 1,000 people continuing to work in Newfoundland, along with 600 in Montreal, and others in Paris who will continue to be transferred to Newfoundland.
 "We regret having to take this action, but prudent financial management dictates that we take this step," McIntyre said on behalf of the partners. "We have been forced to reduce expenditures on the project while we identify and investigate our alternatives. A key priority now will be searching for new investors to acquire the working interest left by the Gulf withdrawal."
 The remaining owners are committed to the project and are making every possible effort to determine the interest of third parties in acquiring Gulf's shares. Goldman Sachs and Wood Gundy have been retained to assist the remaining owners, who will actively participate in the sales effort.
 -0- 2/14/92
 For further information: David Hocking, Spokesperson, Hibernia Executive Committee, (709) 778-7213
CO: HIBERNIA MANAGEMENT AND DEVELOPMENT COMPANY, LTD.
IN OIL
ST: NEWFOUNDLAND


-- c1636 -- 9039 02/14/92
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Publication:PR Newswire
Date:Feb 14, 1992
Words:416
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