Mariner start-up reportedly pushed back to fourth quarter 2019

Equinor's Mariner project
Equinor's Mariner project

The start-up of Equinor’s £4.5bn Mariner project east of Shetland has reportedly been delayed.

Citing two sources close to the project, Reuters reports that the field will not begin production until the fourth quarter of the year.

It is the latest in a series of pushbacks for the development.

In October, Equinor moved back the start-up from Q4 2018 to the first half of 2019 as it increased recovery estimates from the field by a fifth to 300 million barrels.

This latest report means several months of further delays however Equinor has not confirmed whether this is in fact the case.

A spokeswoman for the operator said: “We regularly evaluate the progress of our project schedule together with suppliers and partners, but we will not comment on internal discussions on any of our projects.

“If there are changes to the schedule we will communicate this.”

Outside of Mariner, the Norwegian firm has made big moves west of Shetland by acquiring Chevron’s 40% stake in the Rosebank project, which also targets 300million barrels of oil.

Last month Equinor announced it had kicked-off  a UK exploration campaign with the West Phoenix rig, starting with the Bigfoot prospect which lies near the Mariner field.