Maersk Oil has announced the start of topsides fabrication for the $4.5bn Culzean project in the UK North Sea.

Located about 145 miles east of Aberdeen, the Culzean field is expected to produce between 60,000boepd-90,000boepd at plateau production for a period of at least 13 years.

The company’s coventurers in the Culzean project are JX Nippon Exploration & Production (UK) (34.01%) and BP (Britoil) (16%).

Maersk Oil chief executive Jakob Thomasen said: "When the field begins to produce in 2019, Culzean will become a key contributor to Maersk Oil’s ambition to become a top five 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."

"The field will provide around 5% of UK gas demand at peak production."

The Culzean project was sanctioned in August 2015.

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In September 2015, Maersk Oil awarded a $1bn contract to Sembcorp Marine Offshore Platforms (SMOP) for the building of the central processing facility, in addition to two connecting bridges.

The contract also included wellhead platform and utilities & living quarters platform topsides for the Culzean field development.

Culzean project director Martin Urquhart said: "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 Culzean field was discovered by Maersk Oil and its co-venturers in 2008 and has estimated resources of 250 million to 300 million barrels of oil equivalent.

Image: Maersk and its co-venturers are investing around $4.5bn in the Culzean field development. Photo: courtesy of AP Moller – Maersk Group.