Saturday 1 October 2016

UK gives green light to €4bn Maersk gas plan

Christian Wienberg

Published 01/09/2015 | 02:30

A Maersk tanker docked in the English port of Felixstowe. The company aims to return its focus to North Sea waters and expects the new field to be able to produce 300m barrels of oil equivalent
A Maersk tanker docked in the English port of Felixstowe. The company aims to return its focus to North Sea waters and expects the new field to be able to produce 300m barrels of oil equivalent

Maersk has won UK approval for a $4.5bn (€4bn) development plan for the Culzean natural gas field as the Danish company tries to ramp up output at its energy division.

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The field, located in the central part of the British area of the North Sea, is expected to produce enough natural gas to meet 5pc of the UK's total demand in 2020 or 2021, Maersk said in a statement yesterday.

Maersk Oil will be the operator of the field with a 49.99pc stake, while JX Nippon Oil & Energy has 34.01pc and BP 16pc.

Nils Smedegaard Andersen, chief executive of the Maersk group, said earlier this month that the company is actively searching for North Sea oil acquisitions as the drop in energy prices makes takeovers attractive.

The company wants to return its focus to its North Sea waters, where it first started operations in the 1960s and where it has a market-leading advantage with its technologies, he said.

"Culzean is the latest in a series of large investments by Maersk Oil in the North Sea where we are active in Denmark, Norway and the UK, reflecting our commitment to the future of the North Sea region," Jakob Thomasen, chief executive of Maersk Oil, said in the statement.

Maersk estimates the Culzean gas condensate field has resources of as much as 300m barrels of oil equivalent.

Production will start in 2019 and continue for at least 13 years, Maersk said in yesterday's statement. (Bloomberg)

Irish Independent

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