ABERDEEN, UK – Statoil aims to recruit 1,200 staff to support its Mariner and Bressay heavy oil projects in the UK northern North Sea.
Around 700 will be needed for Mariner, said Lars Christian Bacher, executive vice president for international development and production. These will comprise offshore and onshore personnel working directly for Statoil or contractors.
Mariner is being developed with a production, drilling, and quarters platform on a steel jacket with 50 well slots, linked to an 850,000-bbl storage vessel. Production is due to start in 2017, peak at around 55,000 b/d of oil, and continue for at least three decades.
By year-end Statoil is expected to announce its preferred concept for the nearbyBressay field. This will probably involve a lookalike platform. Dragados, building the jacket for Mariner at its yard in southwest Spain, is thought to have an option in its contract to also construct the Bressay jacket.
Assuming Bressay goes ahead, around 500 staff probably would be needed for the project, Bacher said.
Statoil aims to recover more than 250 MMbbl from Mainer and 200-300 MMbbl from Bressay. The current targeted recovery factor for Mariner’s complex reservoirs is 16%-17%, he said, but that could rise over time as new technologies emerge to produce heavy oil.
Grane in the Norwegian sector was the company’s first heavy oil development, and recovery there has risen thanks to innovations such as multi-lateral wells. Statoil transferred knowledge built up on Grane to the Peregrino heavy oil project offshore Brazil, and then to the Leisner development onshore Canada.
Experience from these fields is factored into planning for Mariner, where downhole technologies will include submersible pumps and inflow control devices, designed to keep as much water as possible “behind the reservoir,” he said. “Heavy oil reservoirs produce a lot of water, so the best thing is to keep the water in the reservoir.”