First steel cut for Maersk Oil’s Culzean topsides

Construction of the topsides to be installed at Maersk Oil operated UK North Sea megaproject, Culzean has begun.

The steel-cutting ceremony for the first of the three topsides modules took place at the Sembcorp Marine Offshore Platforms (SMOP – formerly known as SMOE) Admiralty Yard in Singapore on Thursday, April 7.

Culzean is the largest hydrocarbon discovery in the UK North Sea for over a decade. The field is approximately 145 miles east of Aberdeen and is expected to produce between 60,000 – 90,000 boepd at plateau production, producing for at least 13 years. The project was sanctioned in August 2015. Maersk Oil’s partners in Culzean are JX Nippon Exploration & Production (UK) Limited (34.01%) and BP with 16%.

“Starting the fabrication of the topsides is an important milestone. When the field begins to produce in 2019, Culzean will become a key contributor to Maersk Oil’s ambition to become a Top 5 operator in the North Sea in the 2020s, and provide around 5% of UK gas demand at peak production. Maersk Oil and coventurers’ investment will also support employment in both the UK and Asian supply chains,” said Maersk Oil Chief Executive Jakob Thomasen, speaking at the ceremony in Singapore.

“Our focus for the next three years is working with our partners and suppliers to deliver the project from fabrication right through to commissioning safely, on time and within budget,” says Thomasen.

The contract with SMOP, worth over $1 billion including long lead items, was awarded in September 2015. The contract includes the building of the Central Processing Facility plus two connecting bridges, Wellhead Platform and Utilities & Living Quarters Platform Topsides for the Culzean Field Development.

The platforms will be built with enhanced digital and monitoring capability.

“We will be harnessing technology to develop a 21st century facility with the ability to remotely monitor critical equipment 24 hours a day, and enable offshore colleagues to access real time data and immediate technical evaluation and onshore support. The technology will minimise time spent on plant and enhance safety and efficiency. Maersk Oil estimates this digital toolkit can save more than $10m annually,” says Martin Urquhart, Culzean Project Director.

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