Callon’s new production deck with double its output

Published 12:00 am Saturday, May 31, 2003

NATCHEZ &045; Completion of the production deck at a Gulf of Mexico deep-water property puts Callon Petroleum in a positive position for growth.

Indeed, officials there say the company is set to double its daily production of oil and gas by the end of the year.

The company announced Wednesday that the 6,000-ton deck has been lifted over the huge spar hull at the site known as the Medusa Field and that drilling should begin by late August.

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&uot;We went out in fishing boats to watch,&uot; said John Weatherly, senior vice president and chief financial officer for Callon, a company based in Natchez since its founding in 1950.

&uot;This is a milestone for Callon. We’re now on a 100-day schedule to begin to get that oil out.

The daily production rate for the company is expected to double by the year’s end from the first-quarter levels.&uot;

Callon owns 15 percent of the

Medusa Field. Murphy Oil is the operator. Because the field is expected to be highly productive, the impact will be big for Callon, Weatherly said.

&uot;This field and another one in the Gulf are set to go,&uot; he said. &uot;After four years, we will go on line in late August. The Habanero Field, operated by Shell, will be ready in September.&uot; Callon owns 11.25 percent of the second property, also a deep-water field and expected to be richly productive. Both Medusa and Habanero were discovered in 1999.

The Medusa production facility reaches 2,300 feet to the Gulf floor. The facility cost $213 million.

The hull, built in United Arab Emirates and floated to the Gulf site, has been in place since February. The deck, built in Harbor Island, Texas, was hoisted atop the hull on May 22.

&uot;Each of these properties will have oil with some associated gas,&uot; Weatherly said. The Habanero Field is expected to produce more natural gas &045; &uot;not a bad thing with winter coming along,&uot; he said.

Seeing the assembly of the production deck was a treat, Weatherly said. &uot;It’s hard to imagine how huge these facilities are.&uot;

Gulf of Mexico properties have been the focus of Callon Petroleum for years. The company now is producing primarily from eight areas off the coasts of Alabama, Mississippi, Louisiana and Texas.

In 2003, the focus has been primarily on the substantial fields at Medusa and Habanero and the anticipated beginning of operations there.