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JX Nippon Receives Approval for Mariner Field Development Plan

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The UK's Department of Energy and Climate Change (DECC) has approved JX Nippon Exploration and Production's (JXNEPUK) field development plan for the Mariner oil field in the North Sea, the latter's parent – JX Nippon Oil and Gas Exploration – disclosed in a statement late Monday.

The Mariner heavy oil field, one of the four major assets in the UK, is sited in Block 9/11a in the North Sea, 93 miles (150 kilometers) east of Shetlands in a water depth of 360 feet (110 meters). The total investment in the field, including drilling, will be in excess of $7 billion, JX Nippon revealed.

Discovered in 1981, the Mariner field is estimated to have recoverable reserves of more than 250 million barrels of oil and 55,000 barrels of average daily oil production for the first four years.

Life of the oil field is expected to be around 30 years from 2017.

JX Nippon's development plan for the field involves building of a production, drilling and quarters platform along with a floating storage and offloading system. The company is also expecting to drill a significant number of production wells after startup in 2017.

"The Mariner field is one of our major assets in the UK, and we expect that it will contribute to the achievement of our long term daily production goal of 200,000 barrels of oil equivalent by 2020," JX Nippon noted in its statement.

Statoil is the operator of the field with a 65.11 percent interest. JXNEPUK and Cairn Energy hold the remaining stakes at 28.89 percent and 6 percent respectively.

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