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News Crowley to Build Four More ATBs at VT Halter Crowley Maritime Corporation's Vessel Management Services subsidiary has signed a contract with VT Halter Marine Inc. to build four more articulated tug-barge (ATB), 185,000-barrel tank vessels. The new vessels will have an estimated delivered cost of approximately $236 million, including ownerfurnished equipment. The vessels will be delivered in six-month intervals between the first half of 2009 and the end of 2010. The four new ATBs (Pride/650-7, Achievement/650-8, Innovation/650-9 and Vision/650-10) will be operated by Crowley's petroleum services segment as they are completed. These four new vessels will bring Crowley's total ATB fleet to 14, consisting of four 155,000barrel and ten 185,000-barrel ATBs. Four of Crowley's 155,000-barrel vessels, the Sea Reliance/550-1, Sound Reliance/550-2, Ocean Reliance /550-3 and Coastal Reliance/550-4 have each made more than 100 successful voyages and moved over 75 million barrels of product with zero spills in the last four years, averaging approximately 21 million barrels moved a year. The first of the 185,000-barrel ATBs, Pacific Reliance/650-1 was christened at the end of March. The second vessel of this type, Gulf Reliance has been delivered and the 650-2, is under construction for Crowley at VT Halter's facilities in Mississippi and is scheduled for delivery in the fourth quarter of 2006 while the remaining vessels contracted in 2005 (Resolve/650-3, Commitment/650-4, Courage/650-5 and Integrity/650-6) will be delivered by 2008. "We have received extremely positive feedback from our customers on our ATBs," said Tom Crowley Jr., company chairman, president and CEO. "The first 10 ATB's have all been chartered and we are extending the 650 series to meet additional demand for this class vessel as soon as possible. These vessels offer compelling economics and exceptional safety and performance." Boyd E. King, VT Halter Marine's CEO said, "This contract brings the combined value of Crowley's projects with VT Halter Marine to almost $500 million." All of Crowley's ATBs are built under the ABS SafeHull program for environmental protection. This program puts the vessel design through an exhaustive review to identify structural loads and strengthen the vessel structure. The 650-Class barges will be 27,000 deadweight tons, 587 feet in length, 74 feet in breadth and 40 feet in depth. The fully loaded draft will be 30 feet. There is an electrically driven cargo pump in each of the 14 cargo tanks to assure maximum cargo integrity and segregation flexibility; two anchor windlasses and associated equipment to enable the vessel to accommodate offshore mooring operations, and a vacuum system with three retention tanks to easily handle cargo changes. There is also a dual mode inert gas system and vapor collection system for maximum safety. An enhanced mooring system features 1,000-ft. Spectra-type lines on split drums with a high-speed recovery rate of 100 feet per minute. Chevron Strikes Big in Deepwater GOM Chevron perhaps has ushered in a new era of success in drilling for oil and gas in the deepwater Gulf of Mexico when it recently reported that it completed a record setting production test on the Jack #2 well at Walker Ridge Block 758 in the U.S. Gulf of Mexico. The Jack well was completed and tested in 7,000 ft. of water, and more than 20,000 ft. under the sea floor, breaking Chevron's 2004 Tahiti well test record as the deepest successful well test in the Gulf of Mexico. The Jack #2 well was drilled to a total depth of 28,175 ft. The test was conducted during the second quarter of 2006 and was designed to evaluate a portion of the total pay interval. During the test, the well sustained a flow rate of more that 6,000 barrels of crude oil per day with the test representing approximately 40 percent of the total net pay measured in the Jack #2 well. Chevron and its co-owners plan to drill an additional appraisal well in 2007. More than a half a dozen world records for test equipment pressure, depth, and duration in deepwater were set during the Jack well test. For example, the perforating guns were fired at world record depths and pressures. Additionally, the test tree and other drill stem test tools set world records, helping Chevron and co-owners conduct the deepest extended drill stem test in deepwater Gulf of Mexico history. "Chevron continues to demonstrate its leading position employing deepwater exploration technology to develop new supplies of U.S. crude oil and natural gas with projects such as Jack," said George Kirkland, executive vice president Upstream and Gas. "Our strong strategic position in the deepwater Gulf of Mexico will continue to be a platform for future growth for years to come." Gary Luquette, president North America Exploration and Production, added, "The results of the Jack test allow Chevron and its co-owners to better understand the deliverability of the emerging Lower Tertiary Trend, a trend where Chevron is the largest leaseholder." Chevron announced discovery of the Jack prospect in September 2004. It is approximately 270 miles southwest of New Orleans and 175 miles offshore. Chevron is the operator with a 50 percent working interest. Devon and Statoil each own a 25 percent working interest. Chevron is the largest lease holder in the deepwater Gulf of Mexico, and is currently developing the $3.5 billion Tahiti project located in Green Canyon Block 640. The project is scheduled to commence production in 2008. The Pacific Reliance and 185,000- bbl tank barge 650-1 were christened in March of 2006. The tug for the second vessel of this type - the Gulf Reliance - has been delivered, while barge 650-2 is scheduled to be completed and delivered in the fourth quarter of this year. Newly ordered vessels are expected to bring Crowley's ATB fleet to 14 by the end of 2010. The patented Vacuumarator is the most compact, efficient and reliable vacuum generator available for vacuum toilet systems. www.jets.no 10 Sanitary Systems made to please Maritime Reporter & Engineering News BerCom