Statoil said it plans to invest more than $7 billion in developing the Mariner heavy oil field in the UK North Sea, and Mariner production is expected to come on stream in 2017 pending final government approval of field development plans.
The field, discovered in 1981, is expected to produce for 30 years, with average production of around 55,000 b/d during a plateau expected during 2017-20.
Mariner has two shallow reservoirs, the Maureen formation and the Heimdal sandstones of the Lista formation. Both formations yield heavy oil of around 12° to 14° gravity. The field, some 150 km east of the Shetland Isles, has nearly 2 billion bbl of oil in place and expected reserves of more than 250 million barrels.
Statoil said the heavy oil project will require pioneering technology to address the field’s complexities. Mariner will be developed with a production, drilling, and quarters platform based on a steel jacket, 50 active well slots, and a floating storage unit.
Statoil entered the license as operator in 2007 and holds 65.11% interest. Partners are JX Nippon Exploration and Production (UK) Ltd. with 28.89% and Alba Resources Ltd. with 6%.
The project will provide 200 jobs in Aberdeen and 500 offshore. Statoil said the project was “positively impacted” by the UK government’s expansion of the Ring Fence Expenditure Supplement and will provide “substantial tax income for the UK.”