Maersk Oil made its first steel cut on its landmark North Sea Culzean development.
The cut in Singapore officially kick-starts the fabrication of the $4.5billion mega-project.
Chief executive Jakob Thomasen 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.”
Culzean is the largest hydrocarbon discovery in the UK North Sea for more than a decade.
Sembcorp Marine Offshore Platforms (SMOP) won a $1billion contract off Maersk in September 2015 to build the central processing facility plus two connecting bridges, wellhead platform and utilities and living quarters platform topsides for the field.
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 can save more than $10million annually.”
The field, which is approximately 145 miles east of Aberdeen, is expected to produce between 60,000 and 90,000 boepd at plateau production, producing for at least 13 years.