Saudi Aramco has awarded a contract to Abu Dhabi’s National Petroleum Construction Company (NPCC) for four offshore platforms and associated subsea infrastructure for three offshore oilfields in Saudi Arabia.“These EPC contracts for Al Safaniya, Zuluf and Berri oilfields include engineering, procurement, fabrication, load-out, transportation, installation, hook-up and pre-commissioning work of four offshore platforms (SSS Wellhead Decks) with the associated four subsea pipelines, three submarine cables and downstream tie-ins,” said Aqeel A Madhi, CEO of NPCC.Madhi added that this third contract comes under the scope of the long-term agreement (LTA) between Saudi Aramco & NPCC, signed in October 2016, to help with offshore oil and gas producing platforms and related facilities in the Arabian Gulf. Saudi Aramco has signed a six year agreement with NPCC and other contactors.Under the agreement, contractors will be responsible for delivering a number of offshore oil and gas producing platforms, tie-in platforms, pipelines, power cables, and all the related facilities, as required under the current Master Plan for Saudi Aramco’s offshore fields.Madhi stated that carrying out these two new contracts will take 23 months and expressed his full confidence and trust in NPCC staff and their ability to deliver these projects on budget and schedule.“NPCC team is qualified and well trained, with years of experience of delivering such projects with NOCs and IOCs,” said Madhi.Madhi also said that NPCC would continue to pursue its strategy of increasing its share in international oil & gas EPC market by exploring new growth opportunities.
Press Association Transfer spending ahead of the new campaign has already eclipsed £500million, and with the window open for the remainder of August, last year’s total spend of £835million is set to be surpassed. Chelsea begin the defence of their title against Swansea City at Stamford Bridge on Saturday. And despite a low-key summer of transfer activity, Mourinho’s side are the bookmakers’ favourites to seal back-to-back triumphs. Jose Mourinho expects this season’s Barclays Premier League to be the most competitive of his Chelsea tenure. But the Blues boss believes the spending power of the top flight – due in part to next year’s bumper TV deal – will make this season’s title race one of the fiercest in recent campaigns. “Maybe I’m wrong but I think fewer points will win the title,” Mourinho said. “You have a minimum of five title contenders and the other teams get stronger and stronger. “I think nobody can complain because everyone is investing – you go to Watford, you go to Bournemouth, Crystal Palace, Stoke, every club. “Every club has very good players so I think it’s difficult for the top teams in England because of the competitive nature.” Mourinho, whose side romped to the title last term, cited Yohan Cabaye’s £12million move to Crystal Palace, Georginio Wijnaldum’s arrival at Newcastle from PSV and Max Gradel’s switch to newly-promoted Bournemouth for a reported £7million fee, as examples of the league’s strength in depth. “There will be more times when the non-title contenders win matches against the title contenders,” added Mourinho. “It’s also difficult because they have players who could play in our teams – Cabaye could play for Chelsea, Wijnaldum could play for Chelsea, Gradel could play for Chelsea. “It’s very difficult to win multiple titles. It hasn’t happened in other countries where the domination is clear. In England it’s more difficult and we all know that.” Meanwhile, Mourinho urged Ruben Loftus-Cheek, the highly-rated England youngster, to take his chance if the opportunity arises this season. The 19-year-old started for Chelsea in matches against Liverpool and West Bromwich Albion at the end of last season, but he was heavily criticised by Mourinho following a post-season game in Australia. Chelsea have come under fire for failing to promote English players from their academy through to the first team. But asked if homegrown youngsters, such as Loftus-Cheek, feature in his plans for the upcoming season, Mourinho said: “It depends on him not on me. You have to ask him. “People normally ask about chances and chances and chances and maybe that’s a good excuse for the young players to be where they are. “I think maybe for the good of English football, you should go the other way. Are you ready to get the chance? Must the manager give confidence to a player? Or must the player give confidence to a manager? “I had this nice internal discussion with my people. At the end of the day we arrive into a conclusion that players pick themselves. That’s the responsibility that they must have. “We’re in England so it’s quite fair that people are trying to get solutions for more local players. “But you know, I’m a coach. I’m not an office man and for me, as a coach, I think that the players they must give confidence for me to say ‘Let’s go’. Not the other way.”
(REUTERS) – ALASTAIR Cook completed a stirring century in a stellar return to form as England savoured a rare day of domination in the fourth Ashes Test against Australia yesterday.Cook raised his 32nd Test ton with a pull-shot to the fence in the final over before stumps, and strode off the ground unbeaten on 104, having pushed England to 192 for two on day two at a sweltering Melbourne Cricket Ground.His successor as captain, Joe Root, was 49 not out, the pair having helped reduce Australia’s lead to 135 runs.English cheer has been in short supply this series after Australia took back the urn with victory in Perth but yesterday’s fightback thrilled sun-baked Britons in the raucous crowd of 67 882.Stuart Broad, another Englishman under scrutiny after playing a negligible part in the series, captured 4-51 as Australia’s day one resistance melted in the morning heat.The hosts started the day in a position of strength at 244 for three but were bowled out for 327, losing their last seven wickets for 67 runs.“Bowling Australia out for 320-odd, we’re absolutely delighted,” Broad told reporters.”We’re in a fantastic position in this Test match.“We want that scoreboard pressure going into getting those next 10 wickets.”After labouring on a slow and flat pitch on day one, England’s bowlers were transformed in the morning, with debutant paceman Tom Curran proving the unlikely catalyst.The 22-year-old Surrey seamer bowled Steve Smith for 76 with the second ball of his first spell, having the skipper drag a wider, short delivery onto his stumps.It not only secured Curran his first Test wicket but ended Smith’s unbeaten reign at the MCG since his last dismissal in the Boxing Day Test against India in 2014.It was also a huge relief for Curran, who had opener David Warner caught on 99 on day one but missed out on the wicket for over-stepping his mark.Smith was one of three Australian batsmen out chopping onto the stumps, with all-rounder Mitchell Marsh (nine) and wicketkeeper Tim Paine (24) falling in the same fashion.The home captain finished a disappointing day by conceding 11 runs in the final over with his part-time leg-spin, allowing Cook his century and England a rousing finish.“If we can come tomorrow morning … and hopefully challenge their defence a lot more than we did today, then hopefully we can get a couple of breakthroughs and see where we get to,” Australian spinner Nathan Lyon told reporters.Shaun Marsh dug in to raise his third half-century of the series before being trapped leg-before by Broad for 61.James Anderson bowled Paine and dismissed Lyon lbw for a duck to finish with 3-61.Starting England’s response after lunch, Cook and Mark Stoneman fended off Australia’s opening pace salvo before Lyon intervened with a brilliant caught and bowled.The off-spinner coaxed a leading edge from Stoneman (15) and leaped high to pull down a one-handed catch, reviving memories of his acrobatic dismissal of Moeen Ali during the second Test at Adelaide Oval.Vince (17) was given out lbw when paceman Josh Hazlewood sent a full, straight ball thudding into his pads.He neglected to review the decision and would have regretted it later, with the ‘snicko’ technology showing he had nicked the ball with his bat.Cook and Root then combined for a 112-run partnership to give England hope of grabbing a substantial first-innings lead.Australia’s task was made more difficult with Pat Cummins hampered by a stomach ailment.He battled through 11 overs but Lyon said the sickly seamer would see a doctor in the evening to restore fluids and hopefully be ready to play on day three.