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Equinor postpones startup of Britain's Mariner oilfield again

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By Reuters

OSLO (Reuters) – The start-up of the Mariner heavy oil field, one of Britain’s largest offshore developments of the last decade, has been postponed while operator Equinor performs safety checks on the platform’s electrical couplings.

The field had been expected to start up in the first half of the year but Morten Ruth, Equinor’s vice president for major projects, told Reuters on Wednesday that could now be between July and the beginning of September.

“We see the startup getting closer. We see that we will be able to complete all preparations before July, but there are uncertainties,” he said.

The North Sea field, discovered east of the Shetland Islands in 1981, was approved for development in 2012 with an investment of 4.5 billion pounds. It had originally been scheduled to start operating in 2017.

Norwegian oil and gas firm Equinor has a 65.11 percent stake in the project. Its partners are JX Nippon with 20 percent, Siccar Point with 8.89 percent and Dyas with 6 percent.

(Reporting by Nerijus Adomaitis, editing by Terje Solsvik and Kirsten Donovan)