Maersk Oil gets go-ahead for UK North Sea Culzean project

Offshore staff

ABERDEEN, UK – The UK Oil & Gas Authority has approved the development of the Maersk Oil-operated high-pressure/high-temperature (HP/HT) Culzean field in the UK central North Sea.

Maersk Oil and its co-venturers, JX Nippon and BP (Britoil) are investing around £3 billion ($4.5 billion) in the development. Over the projected life of the field, it is anticipated that £2.1 billion ($3.3 billion) in opex will be spent in the UK domestic market.

Discovered in 2008 by Maersk Oil and its co-venturers, the gas/condensate field has resources estimated at 250-300 MMboe. Production is expected to start in 2019 and continue for at least 13 years, with plateau production of 60,000-90,000 boe/d. The field also is expected to produce enough gas to meet 5% of total UK demand at peak production in 2020-2021.

The Culzean development has benefited from the HP/HT Cluster Area Allowance introduced by the UK government as part of the 2015 Budget. The allowance supports the development of HP/HT projects – which typically have considerably higher capital costs – and encourages exploration and appraisal activity in the surrounding area or “cluster.”

Jakob Thomasen, CEO of Maersk Oil, said: “Culzean is an important development for the UK and also for Maersk Oil and our co-venturers. We are pleased the field will support UK economic growth as well as extend understanding of HP/HT development. Culzean is the latest in a series of large investments by Maersk Oil in the North Sea where we are active in Denmark, Norway, and the UK – reflecting our commitment to the future of the North Sea region.”

Andy Samuel, CEO of the Oil & Gas Authority, said: “Maersk Oil and partners’ £3-billion investment to develop the Culzean discovery is excellent news for the UK during a period when the decline in global oil prices has created difficult operating conditions for this critical sector of our economy. The Oil & Gas Authority has worked closely with Maersk Oil and HM Treasury on the development plans for the Culzean field, which will support many new contracts in the oil and gas supply chain across the UK.”


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