Chevron Corp. is assessing the impact on the development timetable of its North Nemba oilfield off the Angola coast after the sinking of the production platform on route from South Korea. The $175 million dollar structure was being shipped by the vessel Mighty Servant 2 early last week when it capsized near the Indonesian island of Singkep with the loss of four crew members. The so-called topside production platform is 230 ft. long, 105 ft. wide, 150 ft. tall and took 24 months to design and build. The vessel was enroute from the South Korean port of Okpo to Angola, having fueled in Singapore, when it began taking on water and sank. Chevron spokesman Fred Gorrell said the company was fully covered by insurance to replace the platform. The vessel was lying in 35 m of water with about 5 m sticking above the surface so recovery was still being assessed. Gorrell pointed out that even if it needed to be rebuilt it would not take as long as the original because design and engineering work was already done. The North Nemba field in the prodigious Block O offshore Angola was due to come into production in the first quarter
of 2000. Block O, in which Chevron has a 39 percent interest, produced 510,000 bpd in 1998. Gorrell said he wasn't sure how much North Nemba was due to add to this. Chevron owns 39.2 percent of North Nemba, while the state Angola National Oil Co. owns 41 percent, with Italy's Agip owning 9.8 percent and France's Elf Aquitaine with 10 percent.