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Maersk Oil asks for go-ahead to develop North Sea field

The Gryphon FPSO
The Gryphon FPSO

Maersk Oil has submitted plans to the UK Government for developing the South Maclure field in the North Sea.

The Danish firm, which will soon come under French ownership, said the reservoir could contain 12.5 million barrels of oil.

Two development options for the field are being weighed up, both of which involve a tie-back to the Gryphon Alpha floating production, storage and offloading vessel, 3.7miles away.

The Gryphon Alpha topsides will not need to be modified to take in oil from South Maclure, according to Maersk Oil’s plans.

The field is located about 90 miles south-east of Shetland.

It was discovered in 2016 and is 90%-owned by Maersk Oil. Nobel Upstream holds the remaining 10%.

Gryphon Alpha currently handles production from the Gryphon, Tullich and Maclure fields.

Maersk Oil said the development concept would be selected before the end of this year.

A drilling campaign is expected to start in the third quarter of 2018, followed by the subsea installation and well tie-in phase.

First oil is scheduled for the fourth quarter of 2018.

However, the company said the schedule is likely to change as the project develops.

Maersk Oil is currently part of Danish conglomerate AP Moller-Maersk.

But last year Moller-Maersk said it would split off its energy business, allowing it to focus on transport and logistics instead.

In August, French oil major Total said it had struck a deal to buy Maersk Oil for £5.6billion ($7.45billion).

A month later Moller-Maersk said it had agreed to sell its tanker business for almost £900million.

Total’s acquisition of Maersk Oil is expected to go through in the first quarter of 2018.

It will add Maersk Oil’s 49.99% stake in the UK North Sea Culzean field to Total’s portfolio.

Culzean, 145 miles east of Aberdeen, is expected to produce enough gas to meet 5% of total UK demand at peak production in 2020-21.

In July, installation of all three platform jackets for the field was completed at the site.

The three topsides and the floating storage unit for the field are under construction at yards in Singapore.

First oil is slated for 2019.

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