The UK Department of Energy and Climate Change has approved the Mariner heavy oil field development plan.
The plan, proposed by Statoil and its partners, includes a production, drilling, and quarters platform based on a steel jacket, with 50 active well slots, and an 850,000-bbl floating storage unit. For the first 4-5 years, a jack up rig also will be used. Estimated cost of this project is more than $7 billion.
Mariner field has two shallow reservoirs: the Maureen formation and the Heimdal sandstones of the Lista formation. Both reservoirs yield heavy oil of 12-14° gravity. The field holds nearly 2 billion bbl of oil in place and expected reserves of more than 250 million bbl (OGJ Online, Jan. 10, 2013).
Mariner field lies on the East Shetland Platform 93 miles east of the Shetland Islands. Statoil expects Mariner production to begin in 2017 and anticipates production to average 55,000 b/d during the plateau period of 2017-20. The field was discovered in 1981 and is expected to produce for 30 years (OGJ Online Dec. 21, 2012).
Statoil plans to establish the Mariner operations center in Aberdeen.
Statoil will operate the field and owns 65.11% interest; its partners, JX Nippon Exploration & Production (UK) and Alba Resources Ltd., hold respective interests of 28.89% and 6%.