Statoil has awarded a four-year contract for drilling services on the Mariner project to Noble Corp, with an option of up to two years. The project is based on Statoil’s Category J rig, a custom-built and harsh-environment jackup that will be able to operate in water depths from 230 ft to 490 ft (70 to 150 meters) and drill wells to 32,800 ft (10,000 meters). The contract, with an estimated value of US$655 million, is expected to commence sometime between May to September of 2016.
“This will give Statoil and the license group a fit-for-purpose rig, which is important in order to develop the Mariner project in a safe and efficient manner,” Jon Arnt Jacobsen, chief procurement officer for Statoil, said. JX Nippon Exploration and Production and Cairn Energy are license partners with Statoil on the heavy-oil project. The field development plan was approved in February by the UK Department of Energy and Climate Change.
“Mariner is the largest new offshore development in the UK in more than a decade. It will generate jobs and substantial ripple effects for UK and the wider Aberdeen region,” Morten Ruud, Statoil vice president for Western Europe in development and production international, said. The project entails investments of more than GBP 4.7 billion (approximately US$7.14 billion).
First production from Mariner, which is expected to produce for at least 30 years, is planned for 2017. Average production has been estimated at approximately 55,000 bbl/day of oil over the plateau period from 2017 to 2020.
The Mariner field is located on the East Shetland Platform of the UK North Sea, approximately 150 km east of the Shetland Isles.