French oil giant Total has denied reports that the £800million Shetland gas plant will not be completed until next year.
Their comments come after Danish company Dong Energy, who have a 20% stake in the development, announced to the financial markets this week that the Laggan-Tormore gas project had been delayed.
Chief construction contractor Petrofac has flooded Shetland with 2,400 workers in a desperate bid to finish building the gas plant, which was originally scheduled to open this summer, by the end of the year.
However in an interim report published on Wednesday, Dong said: “The operator of the Laggan-Tormore field is currently reviewing delays in the construction of the gas treatment plant in the Shetland Islands.
“It is Dong Energy’s expectation that production start-up from the field will be postponed from the end of 2014 to 2015.”
A spokesman for Total insisted that the £3.3billion Laggan-Tormore development was still on schedule.
“Dong have made their statement to the market,” he said.
“But as far as Total is concerned we are still working with Petrofac with a view to complete the Shetland gas plant as part of the Laggan-Tormore development by the end of this year.”
Local sources in Shetland have long suggested that the gas plant was well behind schedule, despite the number of workers being shipped into the isles to complete the job.
Petrofac has chartered six floating accommodation vessels to house around 1,600 workers in Lerwick harbour, on top of the 800 bed accommodation unit at Sella Ness near the site.
Total has also fully booked the 100 bed Moorfield Hotel in Brae for the next five years , and other accommodation providers around Shetland are fully booked up with contractors involved in the site.
Shetland Islands Council development committee chairman Alastair Cooper said that he doubted that it would be possible to have the gas plant ready by the end of 2014.
“I am not convinced; I think there are too many bits and pieces lying in yards around Shetland that have not gone in yet, and December is not far off,” he said.
The SIC is eager for gas production to commence as soon as possible as it rental income from the site, agreed five years ago before work started, is based on throughput.
Total hope to produce 90,000 barrels of oil equivalent per day when the plant finally opens.
By Ryan Crighton
Source: Energy Voice
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