Norwegian energy giant Equinor has announced first oil from the Mariner field in the UK North Sea.
The field, which is the first Equinor has operating in UK waters, is expected to produce more than 300 million barrels of oil over the next 30 years.
The Mariner field is located on the East Shetland Platform in UK Block 9/11a in the northern North Sea, approximately 240 miles east of the Shetland Islands.
The field development concept includes the Mariner A, a production, drilling and living quarters (PDQ) platform based on a steel jacket with a floating storage unit (FSU), Mariner B. Drilling will be carried out from the PDQ drilling rig together with a jack-up rig during the initial phase.
“The start-up of Mariner, the first Equinor-operated oil field on the UKCS, establishes our
foothold in the UK and reinforces our commitment to be a long-term energy partner,” says Hedda Felin, senior vice president for UK and Ireland Offshore in Equinor.
The Mariner reservoirs hold up to 3 billion barrels of oil, more than percent than what was originally assumed. Mariner is expected to produce annual average rates of around 55,000 barrels of oil per day and up to 70,000 barrels of oil per day at peak production.
“By gathering and interpreting new seismic data we have improved our understanding of the reservoirs. This has resulted in fewer and better placed wells and increased resources since the project was sanctioned in 2012. With the significant volumes in place, we see clear potential to further increase the oil recovery from the Mariner field and will proactively seek opportunities to do so through the application of new technology, additional drilling and future tie back opportunities,” says Anders Opedal, executive vice president for Technology, Projects and Drilling in Equinor.
Mariner has required a gross investment of $7.7 billion, making it one of the largest industry projects in the UK in recent years. Contracts worth more than $1.3 billion have been awarded to UK suppliers since the project started.
“With the start-up of Mariner, we have delivered one of the most complex developments in the North Sea and Equinor’s portfolio. We will continue to apply digital solutions and new technology to deliver safe and efficient operations and optimize production,” says Opedal.
Partners in the Mariner field are Equinor as the operator with 65.11% equity, and JX Nippon (20%), Siccar Point (8.89%) and ONE-Dyas (6%).
The investment decision for the Mariner project was initially made in 2012.