Statoil and its partners have commenced production drilling operations at the Mariner field in the UK North Sea.

Located on the East Shetland Platform of the UK North Sea and approximately 150km east of the Shetland Isles, the Mariner field is estimated to hold reserves of more than 250 million barrels of oil.

The field, which is planned to commence production in 2018, is expected to have a average plateau production of around 55,000 barrels per day. It will have an operational life of 30 years.

All the wells will be tied-back to a production, drilling and quarters (PDQ) unit, which will be in turn tied-back to a floating storage and offloading unit (FSU).

Statoil (UK) operates the Mariner field with 65.11% stake while other partners include J.X. Nippon Exploration & Production (UK) with 20% interest, Siccar Point Energy 8.89% and Dyas Mariner 6%.

Statoil Production UK managing director Hedda Felin said: “This is an exciting period for us as a UKCS operator as we transition from the planning phase to active offshore operations.”

“Pre-drilling enables production to reach plateau levels more quickly after the start of operations on Mariner A.

“It will also be an important learning period for us in terms of understanding the reservoir and identifying potential efficiencies for future wells, with safety and the protection of the environment being our fundamental priorities.”

The largest jack-up rig in the world, the Noble Lloyd Noble, is also deployed over the Mariner jacket, which will be used to drill the first production wells.

The partners have already installed pipelines in the Mariner field and also completed other subsea, umbilical, risers and flowline (SURF) operations.

Image: The Noble Lloyd Noble jack-up rig. Photo: courtesy of Statoil.