Skip to main content

Energy and Resources Equinor further postpones startup of offshore Mariner oil field

The operator of the Mariner heavy oil field, one of Britain’s largest offshore developments in years, postponed its startup to summer 2019 on Wednesday for safety checks on the platform’s electrical couplings.

Originally due to come on stream in 2017 and with an estimated 300 million barrels of recoverable reserves, the 4.5 billion pound ($5.9 billion) project has been plagued by delays.

The latest, pushing the expected launch back from the first to the second half of this year, follows a decision taken in November by Norwegian operator Equinor to inspect all of Mariner’s 40,000 couplings.

Story continues below advertisement

Initial tests showed the couplings’ failure rate was too high, Equinor’s vice president for major projects, Morten Ruth, told Reuters on Wednesday.

“They (electrical couplings) can lead to an explosion if gas gets to the platform,” he said. As of this week the company had completed 56 per cent of the work.

“We see the startup getting closer. We see that we will be able to complete all preparations before July, but there are uncertainties,” he said, adding that he now expected the startup between July and the beginning of September.

Ruth declined to say what extra costs the delay would entail.

The North Sea field, discovered east of the Shetland Islands in 1981, was approved for development in 2012.

Mariner is expected to produce around 55,000 barrels per day at plateau. That compares with current U.K. production of around 1.2 million bpd, according to International Energy Authority data.

Equinor has a 65.11 per cent stake in the project. Its partners are JX Nippon with 20 per cent, Siccar Point with 8.89 per cent and Dyas with 6 per cent.

Story continues below advertisement

The platform’s topside was built at a Daewoo Shipbuilding & Marine Engineering (DSME) yard in South Korea.

Mariner has been hit by several delays, and Equinor last October abandoned plans for a late 2018 production start.

Accommodation rig provider Prosafe said in a statement that Equinor had extended the lease of one of its service vessels for work at Mariner by three months until the end of September at a cost of $15 million.

Report an error
Tickers mentioned in this story
Unchecking box will stop auto data updates
Due to technical reasons, we have temporarily removed commenting from our articles. We hope to have this fixed soon. Thank you for your patience. If you are looking to give feedback on our new site, please send it along to feedback@globeandmail.com. If you want to write a letter to the editor, please forward to letters@globeandmail.com.

Welcome to The Globe and Mail’s comment community. This is a space where subscribers can engage with each other and Globe staff. Non-subscribers can read and sort comments but will not be able to engage with them in any way. Click here to subscribe.

If you would like to write a letter to the editor, please forward it to letters@globeandmail.com. Readers can also interact with The Globe on Facebook and Twitter .

Welcome to The Globe and Mail’s comment community. This is a space where subscribers can engage with each other and Globe staff. Non-subscribers can read and sort comments but will not be able to engage with them in any way. Click here to subscribe.

If you would like to write a letter to the editor, please forward it to letters@globeandmail.com. Readers can also interact with The Globe on Facebook and Twitter .

Welcome to The Globe and Mail’s comment community. This is a space where subscribers can engage with each other and Globe staff.

We aim to create a safe and valuable space for discussion and debate. That means:

  • Treat others as you wish to be treated
  • Criticize ideas, not people
  • Stay on topic
  • Avoid the use of toxic and offensive language
  • Flag bad behaviour

Comments that violate our community guidelines will be removed.

Read our community guidelines here

Discussion loading ...

Cannabis pro newsletter