Canada's Suncor Energy has closed a deal to acquire a 30% stake in the UK North Sea Rosebank project from Austria's OMV.
Suncor has made an initial payment of US$50 million. In the event the co-venturers approve the Rosebank project final investment decision and Suncor elects to participate, Suncor could pay up to $165 million more.
The Rosebank project, about 130km northwest of the Shetland Islands, is considered one of the best and largest remaining undeveloped resources in the UK North Sea.
The project is expected to be complementary to Suncor's existing UK portfolio. Joint venture parties are operator Chevron (40%), Suncor (30%), OMV (20%) and DONG E&P (10%).
The Rosebank field was discovered in 2004, in blocks 213/26 and 213/27, in 3600ft (1110m) water depth, about 130km north-west of the Shetland Islands, close to Faroese waters. It is one of the largest undeveloped discoveries in the North Sea.
In November 2013, during OMV's annual media summit in Vienna, the firm's executives were vocal over what was described as "shortcomings" on the project, which had a $10 billion price tag at the time, and costs it thought could have been driven out.
Chevron had been looking at a 292m–long floating production, storage and offloading vessel, which Hyundai Heavy Industries won a contract to build under a contract worth about $1.9 billion.
In April 2013, HHI said the 99,750-tonne FPSO was scheduled to be handed over by the end of November 2016. It would have been able to produce 100,000 bbl crude and 190MM cu ft of natural gas per day, with 1.05 MMbbl storage capacity.
The project, which has since been under review since late 2013, appeared to be back on the table last year when Bluewater Energy Services revealed it has won a contract from HHI for the engineering, procurement, construction and integration of the FPSO's turret and mooring system - which could be one of the world's largest turret systems if completed.
According to Suncor, the project is currently in the front-end engineering and design phase and has a design capacity of 100,000 bbl and 80 MMcf/d of natural gas.