SBM Offshore – First oil on Thunder Hawk

SBM Offshore is pleased to announce that the Thunder Hawk DeepDraft Semi(TM) commenced processing production from the Thunder Hawk Field in Mississippi Canyon Block 734 on 8 July 2009. The Thunder Hawk field is located 240 kilometres south-east of New Orleans, in a water depth of 1,745 metres.

Murphy Exploration & Production Company – USA is the field operator and operates the Thunder Hawk Floating Production Unit (FPU) on behalf of SBM Offshore. The other owners of the Thunder Hawk field are Eni, StatoilHydro USA E&P Inc. and Marubeni Oil & Gas (USA) Inc.. Together they lease the FPU with firm capacity for an initial period of five years under a production handling agreement.

The Thunder Hawk FPU has process capacity of 45,000 bpd of oil and 70mmcf/d of gas and is designed to serve as an area wide “hub” for other fields. The produced oil and gas will be exported via steel catenary risers into existing pipelines. SBM Offshore designed and constructed the hull as well as the process facilities in house and was also responsible for installation of the FPU. The DeepDraft Semi’s hull was fabricated in Singapore, while the topsides facilities were fabricated and integrated on to the hull in south Texas.

The Thunder Hawk FPU is the second DeepDraft Semi(TM) designed and constructed by SBM Offshore for the ultra-deep Gulf of Mexico waters. SBM Offshore previously designed and constructed the world’s first DeepDraft Semi for Enterprise Products Partners’ Independence Hub project located in a record setting 2,454 metres water depth.

The Thunder Hawk FPU is the Company’s first owned unit in the Gulf of Mexico and the first production handling agreement type contract. This is in line with the strategy of SBM Offshore to expand its leasing activities to offshore oil and gas production concepts beyond the current FPSOs, and to enter new geographical areas for its leasing operations.