Global and Regional MarketsNewsThe Offshore Frontier

Rosebank field to progress in the UK North Sea

Equinor and Ithaca Energy have taken the final investment decision to progress Phase 1 of the Rosebank development on the UK Continental Shelf (UKCS), investing $3.8 billion. The North Sea Transition Authority (NSTA) granted consent for the development of the field on 27 September.

“Developing the Rosebank field will allow us to grow our position as a broad energy partner to the UK while optimizing our oil and gas portfolio and increasing energy supply in Europe. Rosebank provides an opportunity to develop a field within the UK Continental Shelf which will bring significant benefits to Scotland and the wider UK,” said Geir Tungesvik, Executive Vice President of Projects, Drilling and Procurement at Equinor.

The Rosebank field is located around 130 km northwest of Shetland at approximately 1,100-m water depth. Total recoverable resources are estimated at around 300 million bels of oil, with Phase 1 targeting an estimated 245 million bels of oil.

The field will be developed with subsea wells tied back to a redeployed FPSO, with start-up planned in 2026-2027. Oil will be transported to refineries by shuttle tankers while gas will be exported through the West of Shetland Pipeline system to mainland Scotland.

“We are pleased to move forward with the Rosebank field together with Ithaca Energy,” said Philippe Mathieu, Executive Vice President for Exploration and Production International.

“This development further strengthens our international business, and we look forward to collaborating closely with our partner and suppliers to develop and operate Rosebank with the lowest possible carbon footprint while bringing the maximum value to society in the shape of UK investment, local jobs and energy security,” added Mathieu.

The Rosebank oil and gas field is being developed in compliance with the North Sea Transition Deal, an agreement between the UK government and the offshore industry. It acknowledges that whilst there is a continued, though over time reducing need for oil and gas, the remaining demand for oil and gas must be met with the lowest emissions possible.

The FPSO has been designed to be electrification-ready and Equinor is collaborating with government and industry to pursue a regional solution for power from shore to Rosebank and nearby fields to minimize carbon emissions from production.

“We know that the world needs to transition to new, cleaner energy systems and our broad energy investments into the UK support this. And while we do this there is going to be a continued need for oil and gas, which currently meets 76% of the UK’s energy needs. Our decision to progress the Rosebank development is the result of work and collaboration by our employees, partners, government, regulators, and other stakeholders to ensure that this development is able to help meet this ongoing need, with the lowest carbon footprint possible,” said Arne Gürtner, Senior Vice President Upstream at Equinor in the UK.

TechnipFMC was awarded an integrated engineering, procurement, construction and installation (iEPCI) contract for subsea production systems, umbilicals, risers and flowlines with an estimated value of around $500 million for the local content part. TechnipFMC has estimated that more than half of the contract value will be generated from local activities across the UK, with a large portion in Scotland.

Odfjell Drilling has been awarded a rig contract, with an estimated value of $328 million including integrated services, modifications and options. The Deepsea Atlantic drillship is scheduled to start a seven-well drilling campaign in the second quarter of 2025, and additionally four single-well options are included.

Altera has been awarded a bareboat charter and an operations and maintenance contract related to the Petrojarl Knarr FPSO which is set to be deployed on the Rosebank field on a firm contract for nine years, and options up to a total of 25 years.

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