Rosebank is a conventional offshore oil and gas field located 130km off the coast of the Shetland Islands on the north-west edge of the UK Continenetal Shelf (UKCS).

The development was discovered in 2004. Equinor acquired 40% stake and the operatorship of the oil and gas field in 2019 from Chevron.

Suncor Energy (40%), and Siccar Point Energy (20%) are the other stakeholders.

The Rosebank project partners aim to take the final investment decision (FID) on the project in 2023, after securing necessary consents and regulatory approvals, with first oil expected in 2026.

The development is estimated to host recoverable resources of more than 350 million barrels of oil equivalent and produce through to 2050.

Oil production is expected to reach 9,540 tonnes per day at peak in 2027/28, while gas production will touch 1.72 million m3/day between 2029 and 2031.

According to Equinor, Rosebank is projected to create £24.1bn of Gross Value Added (GVA) over the course of its lifetime through direct, indirect and induced economic impacts. It will also facilitate £6.3bn of investment in UK-based businesses.

The project will employ more than 1,600 people directly at the peak of development and 450 UK-based full time direct, indirect and induced jobs across its 25-year lifetime.

Location

Rosebank development is located 130km north-west of Shetland in the Faroe-Shetland Channel. The site is situated in UKCS blocks 213/26b and 213/27a (licence P1026), block 205/1a (licence P1191) and block 205/2a (licence P1272).

Water depth at the location is around 1,100m.

Site details

The Rosebank field was discovered by exploration well 213/27-1Z in 2004. The well identified a series of oil and gas-bearing sandstones of Late Palaeocene to Early Eocene age (Rosebank) and Jurassic age (Lochnagar).

The Colsay Formation sandstones were found to be overlain by and interbedded with volcanic sediments.

An appraisal drilling campaign was conducted between 2006 and 2009 followed by ocean bottom node seismic surveys in 2010 and 2011.

The assessment of the procured data indicated a reservoir structure approximately 20km long and 5km wide.

The initial production will focus on extracting hydrocarbons from the Colsay-1, Colsay-3 and Colsay-4 reservoirs.

Project details

The Rosebank Oil and Gas Field development will include two phases.

The first phase will involve the drilling of four production wells and three injection wells, subject to learnings from the initial wells.

In Phase II, up to three additional production wells along with two injection wells are expected to be drilled.

The wells will be drilled in five sections of successively smaller diameters using water-based mud and oil-based mud.

Other subsea in-field infrastructure will include templates for drilling, flowlines, flow directing and monitoring components, foundations and pipelines for the water injection system, and umbilicals.

The development will deploy vessels and remotely-operated vehicles to install and maintain the infrastructure.

The wells will transport the production using flowlines to a Floating Production Storage and Offloading vessel (FPSO), where the hydrocarbons will be stored and processed.

The FPSO will export the gas to the existing West of Shetland Pipeline Systems (WOSPS) via a new gas export pipeline, while the oil will be offloaded using tankers. The 85km-long undersea gas export pipeline will be made of carbon steel.

The development may use concrete mattresses or rocks to stabilise and protect the seabed infrastructure.

Initially, the operations on board the FPSO will be powered by gas or diesel-powered generators. However, it will be modified before arrival to enable future electrification.

The subsea installation works for the oil and gas project are expected to commence in 2024, while first drilling is planned in 2025.

Rosebank is slated to produce first oil in the fourth quarter of 2026.

Contractors

Hyundai Heavy Industries (HHI) won the Engineering, Procurement, and Construction (EPC) contract for the FPSO in April 2013. However, the contract was cancelled by Chevron in December 2016.

In the first quarter of 2022, Aker Solutions won the contract for Rosebank Subsea Production System and Umbilicals front-end engineering designs (FEEDs).

In February 2022, Equinor entered into an agreement that may lead to the deployment of Altera Infrastructure-owned Petrojarl Knarr FPSO for the Rosebank project.