Baker Energy has entered into a Phase One OPCO contract with JM Huber, under which Baker will operate and maintain Huber's oil and gas producing properties in the South Timbalier 21 Field in the Gulf of Mexico outer continental shelf. Baker began mobilizing field supervision, regulatory compliance specialists, and other OPCO field specialists on January 25th, 2002. Huber operates 87 active manned and unmanned facilities in this region of the Gulf, covering approximately 12 square miles. Approximately 50 Baker field professionals, in addition to technical and operations management personnel from Baker's Houston and Lafayette offices, will be utilized in this operation. This contract is an expansion of the operational consolidation Baker is leading throughout the Gulf of Mexico. Under OPCO, Baker Energy is implementing a sophisticated operating model that redefines business-to-business relationships in the Gulf. Baker Energy has invested in building an infrastructure of marine vessels, helicopters, shorebases, information technology, specialists, safety and compliance systems, and a leadership team that manages the sharing of resources, resulting in improved profitability for OPCO participants. Presently, the company is working under OPCO agreements with ExxonMobil, El Paso Production, Burlington Resources and Phillips Petroleum. When the Phase One transition to full OPCO is completed for Huber, Baker will have operational responsibility for nearly 400 manned and unmanned production facilities in the Gulf of Mexico, of which approximately 250 are under the OPCO model. "Our OPCO consolidation model is an innovative way to improve production efficiencies, assure safety, environmental protection, regulatory compliance and cost efficiency" Michael Whitten, president of Baker Energy, said. "We are actively pursuing other significant opportunities that exist to expand the network further, to the benefit of current participants and to Baker Energy."
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