Maersk begins construction work on new £3bn N. Sea Culzean oil platform

Jakob Thomasen examines the first steel for the Culzean oil platform
Jakob Thomasen examines the first steel for the Culzean oil platform

Construction work on the $1bn platform for the new £3 billion Culzean oil field in the North Sea has begun – in Singapore.

Culzean is the largest oil discovery in the UK North Sea for over a decade and the construction contract comprises the building of the central processing facility plus two connecting bridges, wellhead platform and living quarters

The field is approximately 145 miles east of Aberdeen and is expected to produce between 60,000 – 90,000 boepd at plateau production, and is expected to pump oil for at least 13 years. 

The project was given the go-ahead in August 2015 by Maersk Oil and its Culzean partners –  JX Nippon Exploration & Production (UK) (34.01%) and BP (Britoil) (16%).

Jakob Thomasen, Chief Executive, Maersk Oil, said: “Starting the fabrication of the topsides is an important milestone.  When the field begins to produce in 2019, Culzean will become a key contributor to Maersk Oil’s ambition to become a Top 5 operator in the North Sea in the 2020s, and provide around 5% of UK gas demand at peak production.  

“Maersk Oil and coventurers’ investment will also support employment in both the UK and Asian supply chains,”

“Our focus for the next three years is working with our partners and suppliers to deliver the project from fabrication right through to commissioning safely, on time and within budget.”

Martin Urquhart, Culzean Project Director, added; “We will be harnessing technology to develop a 21st century facility with the ability to remotely monitor critical equipment 24 hours a day, and enable offshore colleagues to access real time data and immediate technical evaluation and onshore support.  

The technology will minimise time spent on plant and enhance safety and efficiency. Maersk Oil estimates this digital toolkit WILL save more than $10m a year in operating costs.

Andy Samuel, Chief Executive of the Oil & Gas Authority, said: “The £3 billion investment to develop the Culzean discovery is excellent news for the UK during a period when the decline in global oil prices has created difficult operating conditions for this critical sector of our economy.

” The Oil & Gas Authority has worked closely with Maersk Oil and HM Treasury on the development plans for the Culzean field, which will support many new contracts in the oil and gas supply chain across the UK.”

Here’s how we COULD get even MER out of the North Sea

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