US oil major Chevron is “building momentum” towards a final investment decision (FID) on the North Sea Rosebank project.
Kevin Ricketts, Chevron’s general manager for projects and future growth, said the company was evaluating bids for the construction of a floating production, storage and offloading (FPSO) vessel for the development.
Mr Ricketts said the bids had been “predictable and competitive”, but he would not be drawn on when a FID is likely to be taken.
Chevron initially placed a £1.5billion order for an FPSO for Rosebank with Hyundai Heavy Industries (HHI) in South Korea in 2013.
Drilling was slated to start in 2015, with first production to follow three years later.
But the project was put on hold in the wake of the oil price collapse and fears were raised that the field would never be developed.
Chevron cancelled the FPSO contract with HHI in December 2016.
In June 2017, Chevron said it was getting ready to launch a fresh tender for the FPSO.
Mr Ricketts said yesterday: “We did go out to tender. We received bids and right now we are evaluating those bids.
“It is a lengthy process to find out where we are going to go with those.”
Chevron is currently working on the front end engineering and design for Rosebank.
“We are working hard to make this project competitive and predictable,” Mr Ricketts said. “From here we’re working to build momentum towards FID.
“We have some of the world’s best deepwater expertise and we bring those people in to look at our project and they help us make it better.”
Rosebank, which was discovered in 2004, lies about 80miles north-west of the Shetland Islands and is thought to contain more than 300million barrels of potentially recoverable oil equivalent.
Chevron holds a 40% stake in Rosebank, Suncor Energy has 30%, Siccar Point Energy has 20% and Ineos has 10%.
Mr Ricketts recently took up the role in Aberdeen, having previously worked for Chevron in the San Joaquin Valley, California.
He said he was “very excited” to be involved in Chevron’s efforts to grow its North Sea business.
“Our exploration strategy is focused on exploring near our existing assets,” he said. “That adds value quickly by allowing us to drill wells and get them to produce using existing facilities.”