JX Nippon Exploration and Production and its co-venturers, Maersk Oil and BP have secured approval from the UK Oil & Gas Authority for the development of the Culzean Field located in the UK Central North Sea.

Maersk Oil and its co-venturers, who discovered the field in 2008, plan to invest around $4.5bn in the development.

Over the projected field’s life, around $3.3bn in operating expenditure is expected to be made in the UK domestic market.

The high pressure, high temperature (HPHT) gas condensate field Culzean is located in the block 22/25a, and has resources estimated at 250-300 million barrels of oil equivalent.

Maersk Oil CEO Jakob Thomasen said: "Culzean is an important development for the UK, and also for Maersk Oil and our co-venturers.

"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."

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"Culzean is an important development for the UK, and also for Maersk Oil and our co-venturers."

Production from the field is expected to commence in 2019 and continue for at least 13 years, with plateau production of 60,000-90,000 barrels of oil equivalent per day.

Peak production is anticipated to be reached in 2020/21, meeting 5% of total UK demand.

The Culzean field is expected to support an estimated 6,000 jobs in the UK, and to create over 400 direct jobs.

Recently, the UK Government introduced the HPHT cluster area allowance, which backs the development of such projects with high capital costs.

Maersk Oil, the oil and gas unit of Danish shipping company AP Møller-Maersk, will be the operator of the field and have a 49.99% stake, while JX Nippon and BP subsidiary Britoil have stakes of 34.01% and 16% respectively.

Image: Maersk Oil and its co-venturers, JX Nippon and BP will invest $4.5bn in Culzean development. Photo: © A.P. MOLLER – MAERSK GROUP