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JX Nippon receives go-ahead from UK for Mariner field development

19 February 2013

The UK's Department of Energy and Climate Change (DECC) has approved the JX Nippon Exploration and Production field development plan for the Mariner oil field in the North Sea, the latter’s parent – JX Nippon Oil and Gas Exploration – disclosed in a statement on February 18.

The Mariner heavy oil field is situated 150 kilometers east of the Shetlands in a water depth of 110 metres. The total investment in the field will be in excess of $7 billion, JX Nippon said.

Discovered in 1981, Mariner is estimated to have recoverable reserves of more than 250 million barrels of oil and 55,000 barrels of average daily oil production for the first four years.

Life of the oil field is expected to be around 30 years from 2017.

JX Nippon's development plan for the field involves the construction of a production, drilling and quarters platform along with a floating storage and offloading system. The company is also expecting to drill a significant number of production wells after startup in 2017.

"The Mariner field is one of our major assets in the UK, and we expect that it will contribute to the achievement of our long term daily production goal of 200,000 barrels of oil equivalent by 2020," JX Nippon noted in its statement.

Statoil is the operator of the field with a 65.11 percent interest. JXNEPUK and Cairn Energy hold the remaining stakes at 28.89 percent and 6 percent respectively.

Mike Tholen, Oil & Gas UK’s economics director, said: “We are delighted that the Government has approved this £4.3 billion investment in the UK’s oil reserves. The scale of the investment highlights the strength of current activity in the sector and the continuing importance of oil and gas to the economy. 

“Once production starts, hundreds of millions of pounds of additional tax revenues will flow to the public purse and the UK’s energy security will be boosted. Mariner requires pioneering technology and its development is creating hundreds of high-skilled, long-term jobs across Britain.”


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