Equinor has exercised three of six available one-month options to extend the Prosafe accommodation vessel Safe Boreas at the Mariner project in the UK sector of the North Sea, after another round of setbacks has pushed back the oil field's start-up date even further.
The 2015-built Safe Boreas will accommodate personnel working on Mariner in the hook up and early production phase through September 2019.
The total value of the three one-month options is approximately $15 million.
The harsh environment vessel is equipped with a DP3 (dynamic positioning) system as well as 12 point mooring arrangement and has the capacity to accommodate 450 persons in single man cabins.
The Mariner field, discovered in 1981 approximately 150 kilometers east of the Shetland Islands, was approved for development in 2012 with an investment of nearly $6 billion.
The concept chosen includes a production, drilling and quarters (PDQ) platform based on a steel jacket, Mariner A, with a floating storage unit (FSU), Mariner B. Drilling will be carried out from the Mariner A drilling rig, with a jack-up rig assisting for the first four years.
The Mariner oil field consists of two shallow reservoir sections: the deeper, Maureen formation at 1,492 meters and the shallower Heimdal reservoir at 1,227 meters. The oil is heavy with API gravities of 14.2 and 12.1 and viscosities at reservoir conditions of 67 cP and 508 cP, respectively for Maureen and Heimdal.
First production was originally planned for 2017, but the development has encountered several setbacks, the latest of which has pushed back pushed estimated start-up to the summer of 2019.
Equinor expects average plateau production will be 55,000 barrels per day.
Equinor operates the field and has a 65.11 percent stake. Its partners are JX Nippon with 20 percent, Siccar Point with 8.89 percent and Dyas with 6 percent.