OSLO (Reuters) - Norway’s Equinor (EQNR.OL) 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 start-up of the heavy oilfield on the UK 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 start-up of Mariner, the first Equinor-operated oil field on the UKCS, establishes our foothold in the UK 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 (6.4 billion pounds), was discovered east of the Shetland Islands in 1981, and approved for development in 2012.
Equinor has a 65.11% stake in the field. JX Nippon has 20%, Siccar Point has 8.89% and ONE-Dyas owns the remaining 6%.
Reporting by Lefteris Karagiannopoulos, editing by Terje Solsvik and David Evans