Production drilling under way at Mariner field in the North Sea

Noble Lloyd Noble jackup drilling rig Statoil Noble Corp.
Standing at 215 m (705 ft) tall, Statoil claims this is the largest jackup in the world. (Courtesy Statoil)

Offshore staff

STAVANGER, Norway – Statoil has started production drilling on the Mariner heavy-oil field in the UK northern North Sea.

Up to five wells will be drilled before the Mariner A platform hook-up and commissioning activity starts next summer. First oil is expected in 2018.

Noble Corp.’s Noble Lloyd Noble jackup is currently positioned over the Mariner jacket, which was installed in 2015. The first production wells will be drilled through a well deck on the jacket. In total, up to 100 reservoir targets could be drilled over the lifetime of the Mariner field, based on the current development strategy.

The Noble Lloyd Noble was constructed in Singapore and arrived in the Mariner field earlier in November. Standing at 215 m (705 ft) tall, Statoil claims this is the largest jackup in the world.

The company noted that it has worked closely with major contractors Noble Drilling and Schlumberger to ensure safe and cost-effective operations. The rig contract was awarded to Noble Drilling in 2013, followed by the contract award for integrated drilling and completion services to Schlumberger in 2014.

Hedda Felin, managing director of Statoil Production UK, said: “Predrilling enables production to reach plateau levels more quickly after the start of operations on Mariner A. It will also be an important learning period for us in terms of understanding the reservoir and identifying potential efficiencies for future wells, with safety and the protection of the environment being our fundamental priorities.”

The Mariner topsides modules are currently under construction at Daewoo Shipbuilding & Marine Engineering Co., Ltd. in South Korea and sailaway is expected in the first half of 2017.

Mariner is one of the largest projects currently under development in the UK continental shelf. Contracts worth more than £1 billion ($1.2 billion) have been awarded to date to the UK supply chain by the project.

Statoil (U.K.) Ltd. is the operator with 65.11% equity. Co-venturers are J.X. Nippon Exploration & Production (UK) Ltd. (20%), Siccar Point Energy (8.89%), and Dyas Mariner Ltd. (6%).

The Mariner field is located on the East Shetland Platform of the UK North Sea, approximately 95 mi (150 km) east of the Shetland Isles. The heavy-oil field has reserves estimated at more than 250 MMbbl with an average plateau production of around 55,000 b/d.

The field will provide a long-term cash-flow over a 30-year field life.

The concept chosen includes a production, drilling, and quarters platform based on a steel jacket, with a floating storage unit (FSU). The steel jacket for the Mariner A platform was completed on time and within budget at the Dragados Offshore S.A. yard in Spain, and safely installed in the field in September 2015.

The Mariner B FSU is fully installed in the Mariner field with around 20 people on board.

The pipelines are installed and other subsea, umbilical, risers and flowline operations have been completed.

12/02/2016

Statoil-operated Mariner heavy-oil field development in the UK North Sea
(Image courtesy Statoil)

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