Mariner on stream

August 15, 2019 12:00 CEST

Equinor and partners are proud to announce first oil from the Mariner field in the UK North Sea today. The field is expected to produce more than 300 million barrels of oil over the next 30 years.

“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,” says Hedda Felin, senior vice president for UK and Ireland Offshore in Equinor.

The Mariner reservoirs have up to 3 billion barrels of oil in place, a 50% increase on what was originally assumed, and the estimated recovery rate has already been increased by 20 percent. 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.

“By gathering and interpreting new seismic data we have improved our understanding of the reservoirs. This has resulted in fewer and better placed wells and increased resources since the project was sanctioned in 2012. With the significant volumes in place, we see clear potential to further increase the oil recovery from the Mariner field and will proactively seek opportunities to do so through the application of new technology, additional drilling and future tie back opportunities,” says Anders Opedal, executive vice president for Technology, Projects and Drilling in Equinor.

Photo of the Mariner field
The Mariner field in the UK North Sea. (Photo: Jamie Baikie and Michal Wachucik / Equinor ASA)

Mariner is one of the largest industrial projects in the UK in recent years. A gross investment of more than $7.7 billion, the development will support more than 700 long term jobs and generate significant revenue in the supply chain for decades to come. Contracts worth more than $1.3 billion have been awarded to UK suppliers since the project started.

“With the start-up of Mariner, we have delivered one of the most complex developments in the North Sea and Equinor’s portfolio. We will continue to apply digital solutions and new technology to deliver safe and efficient operations and optimize production,” says Opedal.

Digital solutions include automated drilling, digital twin, field worker tools, and digitized logistics to support operational and field maintenance planning.

In the UK, Equinor has established a broad energy portfolio including oil, gas and offshore wind, with Mariner as the foundation of its upstream operations.

“Many have played a part in bringing Mariner onstream safely including our partners, contractors and suppliers, and we are grateful for their important contributions,” Felin says.

Related pages and downloads

Portraits of Hedda Felin and Anders Opedal
Hedda Felin (left), senior vice president for UK and Ireland Offshore in Equinor, and Anders Opedal, executive vice president for Technology, Projects and Drilling in Equinor.

Facts about Mariner

  • Equinor is the operator of Mariner with 65.11% equity. The partners are JX Nippon (20%), Siccar Point (8.89%) and ONE-Dyas (6%).
  • Mariner is located on the East Shetland Platform of the UK North Sea, approximately 95 miles or 150 kilometres east of Shetland and 320 kilometres north-east of Aberdeen.
  • The Mariner field development concept includes a production, drilling and quarters (PDQ) platform based on a steel jacket, with oil being exported to a floating storage unit (FSU) and then to shore via tankers.
  • Drilling will be carried out from the PDQ drilling rig, with a jack-up rig assisting for the initial period. Around 100 wells will be drilled over the first 12-14 years.

Equinor in the UK

  • Equinor’s UK upstream portfolio includes Mariner, Bressay, Utgard and other cross-border developments and more recently, the Rosebank project.
  • Equinor is one of the most active explorers in the UK, with five exploration wells in 2019.  
  • Equinor is the largest supplier of crude oil to the UK and the largest supplier of natural gas. Equinor’s gas supplies meet more than 25% of UK demand, enough to heat or power eight million British homes and businesses every year.
  • Equinor’s operated offshore wind farms (Sheringham Shoal, Dudgeon and Hywind Scotland) together supply electricity to 650,000 UK homes. Hywind Scotland is the first floating offshore wind park in the world and is partnered with Batwind, the world’s first battery for offshore wind.
  • Equinor, with its partner SSE, is developing the Dogger Bank offshore wind project which has the potential to provide around 10% of the UK’s total electricity needs. Once fully developed it will be one of the largest offshore wind farms in the world.