Statoil selected a steel jacket production, drilling, and quarters platform with a floating storage unit for developing Mariner heavy oil field on Block 9/11a offshore the UK.
The company expects to make a final investment decision in late 2012 and produce first oil in late 2016.
Mariner heavy oil requires pioneering technology, Statoil said. It explained that because of the expected low well flow rates and early water breakthrough, the development will need many wells, artificial lift, and a process designed to handle large liquid rates and oil-water emulsions.
Because of the limited number of well slots on the platform, Statoil plans to use multibranch wells, sidetracks, and reused slots to reach 145 production and injection targets.
The field, discovered 30 years ago, had previously been the subject of several development studies by various operators.
The company also has slated the development of Bressay heavy oil field 1 year after Mariner to ensure transfer of the learning and synergies from the Mariner project, Statoil said. Bressay lies in UK Blocks 3/27b, 3/28 a and b, and 9/2a and 3a.
Statoil expects to invest £6 billion in developing Mariner and Bressay.
Bressay and Mariner fields contain 11-14° gravity oil with a 64-550 cp viscosity.
Statoil has extensive heavy oil experience, including the development of Grane field off Norway and Peregrino field off Brazil.
Statoil holds a 65.11% interest in Mariner. Its partners are Eni UK Ltd. 28.89%, and Nautical Petroleum PLC 6%.
In Bressay, Statoil holds 81.625% with Shell UK Ltd holding the remaining 18.375%.