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Statoil gets UK’s approval for $7bn Mariner Field plan

Statoil ASA has secured the approval of the United Kingdom for its $7 billion Mariner heavy oil field’s development, in the North Sea.

Mr. Helge Lund, Chief Executive Officer, Statoil, who disclosed this, said the project is a significant investment for the company as it hopes to produce about 250 million barrels of oil.

He stated that the company plans to invest $7 billion in the Mariner field and use pioneering technology to extract the oil, which is much heavier than traditional North Sea oil, adding that its experience with heavy oil fields would be brought to bear.

He said, “We have done Grane in Norway, which is a heavy oil field, we have done Peregrino very successfully for the last two years in Brazil, so this is a natural extension for us in building a real strong foothold within heavy oil.”

“We have done these projects before, so we are confident on the technology and the execution part as well. But it is a complex project and a big project, so it requires the best of our teams to make it a success.”

It is estimated, according to Lund, that the field will produce for 30 years from 2017, adding that production will reach an output plateau of around 55,000 barrels a day in the 2017-20 period.

“Statoil is the operator for Mariner with a 65.11 per cent stake. The field is co-owned by Cairn Energy Plc  subsidiary Alba Resources Ltd. with a six per cent stake, and JX Nippon Exploration and Production (U.K.) Limited with a 28.89 per cent stake,” he noted.

Edward Davey, U.K. Energy Secretary in an announcement at the Oslo Energy Forum at Holmenkollen, said the U.K. is a major partner for Statoil, which is in the planning phase for its next U.K. heavy oil field, Bressay, and expects to make an investment decision on that later this year.

He said, “This is a very big project, but there’s more to come. This is a huge and challenging project.”

“For the technology to exploit it, we have had to wait 30 years. We have had to wait for Statoil to innovate in the way that you have done, world-leading innovation from Statoil to enable us to exploit these resources. So it’s a real tribute to Statoil.”

He disclosed that the Mariner field was discovered in 1982, but production was delayed due to technical challenges in extracting the viscous and dense oil.

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