Equinor and partners have announced first oil from the Mariner field in the UK North Sea. The field is expected to produce more than 300 million barrels of oil over the next 30 years.
“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 have up to 3 billion barrels of oil in place, a 50% increase on what was originally assumed, and the estimated recovery rate has already been increased by 20%. Mariner is expected to produce annual average plateau 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 is one of the largest industrial projects in the UK in recent years. A gross investment of more than USD 7.7 billion, the development will support more than 700 long term jobs and generate significant revenue in the supply chain for decades to come. Contracts worth more than USD 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 optimise production,” says Opedal.
Digital solutions include automated drilling, digital twin, field worker tools, and digitised logistics to support operational and field maintenance planning.
In the UK, Equinor has established a broad energy portfolio including oil, gas and offshore wind, with Mariner as the foundation of its upstream operations.
“Many have played a part in bringing Mariner onstream safely including our partners, contractors and suppliers, and we are grateful for their important contributions,” Felin says.