Statoil seeks Mariner go-ahead

Energy giant Statoil has formally applied for permission to develop its huge Mariner field in the North Sea.

Statoil said it wanted to instal a platform and a floating production vessel as part of the project 81 miles south-east of Shetland. It plans to start development work in 2015, with first production coming in 2016. The Norwegian firm has applied to the Department of Energy and Climate Change for consent to proceed at both Mariner and Mariner East.

The Mariner area, one of the UK’s largest untapped oil finds, is estimated to hold up to 400million barrels of recoverable oil and could still be in production 45 years from now.

As part of its plans to develop the field, Statoil wants to build an operational base in Aberdeen and create 1,000 jobs.

Statoil’s Mariner development is expected to be followed by work on the nearby Bressay field, which is thought to be of a similar size.