(Rigzone,Thursday, August 15, 2019) -- Equinor ASA reported Thursday that it, along with its partners, has achieved first oil from the Mariner field on the U.K. Continental Shelf (UKCS).

“The start-up of Mariner, the first Equinor-operated oil field on the UKCS, establishes our foothold in the U.K. and reinforces our commitment to be a long-term energy partner,” Hedda Felin, Equinor’s senior vice president for U.K. and Ireland Offshore, said in a written statement.

According to Equinor, Mariner’s reservoirs hold up to 3 billion barrels of oil in place and should produce more than 300 million barrels of oil over the next three decades. In addition, the company expects the North Sea field to produce annual average plateau rates of approximately 55,000 barrels of oil per day (bopd) and up to 70,000 bopd at peak production.

Equinor holds a 65.11-percent stake in Mariner, which is located on the East Shetland Platform approximately 95 miles (150 kilometers) east of Shetland and 199 miles (320 kilometers) northeast of Aberdeen, U.K. The company’s partners include JX Nippon (20 percent), Siccar Point (8.89 percent) and ONE-Dyas (six percent).

Representing a gross investment exceeding $7.7 billion, the Mariner field development features a production, drilling and quarters (PDQ) platform based on a steel jacket and will export oil to a floating storage unit (FSU) and then to shore via tankers, Equinor stated. The company added that approximately 100 wells will be drilled over the first 12 to 14 years, with the PDQ rig carrying out drilling operations and receiving assistance from a jack-up during the initial period.

Equinor also stated the Mariner development will apply digital solutions including automated drilling, digital twin, field worker tools and digitized logistics to support operational and field maintenance planning.

“With the start-up of Mariner, we have delivered one of the most complex developments in the North Sea and Equinor’s portfolio,” stated Anders Opedal, Equinor’s executive vice president for Technology, Projects and Drilling. “We will continue to apply digital solutions and new technology to deliver safe and efficient operations and optimize production.”

Calling Mariner one of the largest recent U.K. industrial projects, Equinor noted the development will support more than 700 long-term jobs and has already provided contracts worth more than $1.3 billion to U.K. suppliers.

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