The UK Oil & Gas Authority has approved a plan by Maersk Oil and its joint venture partners to develop £3bn ($4.5bn) Culzean gas field in North Sea.


Discovered in 2008, the Culzean high pressure, high temperature (HPHT) gas condensate field is located in the Block 22/25a in the UK Central North Sea.

According to estimate, the field contains 250-300 million barrels of oil equivalent and can be operational for over 13 years.

According to WoodMac research, the Culzean is claimed to be the largest field discovered in the last decade in the North Sea and also is the largest gas field sanctioned since 1990.

The field is scheduled to commence production in 2019 and is expected to reach peak production of 60,000-90,000 barrels of oil equivalent per day, which is about 5% of total demand in the UK, in 2020/21.

In addition to creating more than 6,000 jobs, the project is expected to provide significant economic benefits to UK.

The project is also backed by the HPHT cluster area allowance, which was introduced by the government earlier this year, as part of the package of measures in an effort to support the oil and gas industry.

UK Chancellor of the Exchequer George Osborne Aberdeen said: "Already the UK’s oil and gas industry supports hundreds of thousands of jobs across the country and this £3 billion investment comes on the back of massive government support for the sector."

Maersk Oil CEO Jakob Thomasen said: "Culzean is the latest in a series of large investments by Maersk Oil in the North Sea where we are active in Denmark, Norway and the UK – reflecting our commitment to the future of the North Sea region."

Maersk Oil, the oil and gas unit of Danish shipping company A.P. Møller-Maersk will operate the field with an ownership stake of 49.99%.

JX Nippon has 34.01% stake in the field while BP subsidiary Britoil has a 16% stake.

Image: Production from the Culzean gas field is expected to commence in 2019. Photo: courtesy of A.P. MOLLER – MAERSK GROUP.