Norway’s Equinor and its partners have started producing oil from the Mariner field in the British North Sea, which is expected to pump more than 300 million barrels of oil over the next 30 years, the operator said on Thursday.
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, it added.
The startup of the heavy oil field on the U.K. Continental Shelf (UKCS), one of Britain’s largest offshore developments in years and originally due on stream in 2017, has been delayed several times by technical problems and poor weather conditions.
“The startup 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,” senior vice president Hedda Felin said in a statement.
The project, which Equinor said is a gross investment of more than $7.7-billion, was discovered east of the Shetland Islands in 1981, and approved for development in 2012.
Equinor has a 65.11 per cent stake in the field. JX Nippon has 20 per cent, Siccar Point has 8.89 per cent and ONE-Dyas owns the remaining 6 per cent.