Investment boost for North Sea energy projects

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   By a Newsnet reporter

The SNP’s Aberdeen Donside by-election candidate Mark McDonald has welcomed news that Statoil has invested in a £111million contract to Subsea 7 for the Mariner field.

The investment will involve engineering, procurement, installation and construction of 24 miles of rigid flow-lines and flexible riser systems. That is together with associated subsea structures, protection systems and tie-ins.

Management of the project will be split between between Subsea 7’s offices in Stavanger in Norway and Aberdeen.  Offshore installations are due to start in 2015 and finish the following year.

Thomas Sunde, Subsea 7’s vice president of sales and marketing for the North Sea and Canada, commented in a company statement:

“We are extremely pleased to have been awarded this significant project from Statoil for their Mariner field development in the North Sea. The award recognizes our ability to deliver the full range of technology solutions for subsea SURF projects, as well our strong track record as a reliable large scale engineering, procurement, installation and construction contractor.

“Subsea 7 looks forward to working closely with Statoil to successfully deliver our scope of work, with safety and quality at the forefront throughout.”

Welcoming news of the investment, Mr McDonald said:

“This is very welcome news for Aberdeen, and underlines Statoil’s determination to remain a significant player in the North Sea oil and gas sector.

“It is clear that with announcements such as this, major players in the sector see North Sea oil and gas as a hugely important industry for decades to come.

“Subsea 7 is already a big employer in Aberdeen, whose employees bring world-class expertise to the industry.

“Scotland’s offshore industry is entering a new boom, with the wholesale value of oil and gas a staggering £1.5 trillion or more, and over half its revenues still to come.”

Meanwhile in a further sign that the energy business in the North Sea has a secure future,  Cromarty Firth Port Authority has showcased its proposed port expansion plans at the 2013 All Energy exhibition in Aberdeen.

The £20 million expansion is now “shovel ready” and will see the port expand by nine acres.  Plans include the creation of a deep water quay capable of handling vessels up to 160 m in length.

The project is due to get underway early in 2014 and will be completed by mid-2015.  It is expected the new port facilities will create 170 full time jobs locally. 

The port is the closest deep water port to the Beatrice and Moray offshore windfarms and has handled over 300 complete onshore wind turbines. With investment in offshore renewable projects set to increase, the new port will be capable of meeting the needs of both the renewable energy and oil industries.