Equinor and Ithaca Energy have made the final investment decision to move forward with Phase 1 of the Rosebank development on the UK Continental Shelf (UKCS). The investment for this project will total an impressive US$3.8 billion.
The North Sea Transition Authority (NSTA) officially gave the green light to this venture on September 27.
Geir Tungesvik, Executive Vice President of Projects, Drilling and Procurement at Equinor commented, “Developing the Rosebank field will allow us to grow our position as a broad energy partner to the UK, while optimising 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.”
Positioned about 130 kilometres north-west of Shetland, the Rosebank field lies submerged in roughly 1,100 metres of water. It holds an estimated 300 million barrels of oil, with Phase 1 targeting approximately 245 million barrels.
With an innovative approach, the field will feature subsea wells tied back to a redeployed floating production, storage and offloading vessel (FPSO). The project timeline sets the start-up for the years 2026-2027. Oil will be shuttled to refineries by tankers, while gas will be dispatched via the West of Shetland Pipeline system to mainland Scotland.
Philippe Mathieu, Executive Vice President for Exploration and Production International, reflected on the partnership, “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.”
The Rosebank oil and gas field is aligned with the North Sea Transition Deal, a pact between the UK government and the offshore industry. This deal recognises the ongoing, albeit reducing, need for oil and gas. However, it insists that such demand be met with the most minimal emissions attainable.
Steps have been taken to ensure the FPSO is ready for electrification, with Equinor actively seeking collaborations for a regional solution that draws power from the shore to the Rosebank and adjacent fields, aiming to curb carbon emissions.
An independent report by Wood Mackenzie and Voar Energy projects that Rosebank will pump £8.1 billion directly into investments throughout the field’s life, with a substantial 78% going into UK businesses. The construction phase is expected to support roughly 1,600 jobs, and approximately 450 UK-based positions will be maintained during the field’s operational lifetime.
Arne Gürtner, Senior Vice President Upstream at Equinor in the UK, emphasized the global transition to cleaner energy, noting that oil and gas currently satiate 76% of the UK’s energy needs. He added, “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.”
TechnipFMC has clinched an iEPCI™ contract valued around US$500 million for subsea operations, with more than half of this value earmarked for local UK activities, majorly in Scotland.
Key project tasks will be mainly orchestrated from Aberdeen, and multiple fabrication sites across the UK will also be roped in. Odfjell Drilling and Altera have also been entrusted with significant contracts.