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Interior shop builds $3 million Northstar module

Posted: Thursday, March 02, 2000

NORTH POLE (AP) -- A fabrication shop here is building a $3 million module for the Northstar field in the Beaufort Sea. The module is the biggest fabrication ordered by BP Exploration (Alaska) Inc. in the Interior in at least a decade.

The 65-foot-tall unit will process and reinject drilling waste. BP plans to sink 22 wells into the formation six miles offshore. The company expects to spend $455 million tapping the field's projected 145-million-barrel reservoir.

Fairbanks business, civic and union leaders gathered Tuesday to celebrate the project.

Greg Mattson, who recently moved from London to take over as BP's new Alaska development chief, described the award of the module contract to a Fairbanks-area fabrication shop as one of many moves toward developing Northstar by using Alaskans.

''The project attracted five separate bids,'' Mattson noted, ''so we had quite a lot of choice in that competitive process.''

The module work will employ as many as 65 workers.

''It represents about 50,000 man-hours of work for Fairbanks,'' said Dave Matthews of H.C. Price, the general contractor.

The unit will be assembled completely, tested, then disassembled for transport to the North Slope. Trucks loaded with the module components are expected to roll north about mid-June.



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