Oil giant Chevron “building momentum” towards financial decision on Rosebank project

Kevin Ricketts, general manager of Chevron Upstream Europe

US oil major Chevron is “building momentum” towards a final investment decision (FID) on the multibillion-pound North Sea Rosebank project.

Kevin Ricketts, Chevron’s general manager for projects and future growth, said the company was evaluating bids for the construction of a floating production, storage and offloading (FPSO) vessel for the development.

Mr Ricketts said bids were “predictable and competitive”, but he would not be drawn on when an FID is likely to be taken.

Chevron initially placed a £1.5billion order for an FPSO for Rosebank with Hyundai Heavy Industries (HHI) in South Korea in 2013.

Drilling was slated to start in 2015, with first production to follow three years later.

But the project was put on hold in the wake of the oil price collapse and fears were raised that the field would never be developed.

Chevron cancelled the FPSO contract with HHI in December 2016.

In June 2017, Chevron said it was getting ready to launch a fresh tender for the FPSO.

Mr Ricketts said yesterday: “We did go out to tender. We received bids and right now we are evaluating those bids

“It is a lengthy process to find out where we are going to go with those.”

Chevron is currently working on the front end engineering and design for Rosebank.

“We are working hard to make this project competitive and predictable,” Mr Ricketts said, adding: “From here we’re working to build momentum towards FID.

“We have some of the world’s best deepwater expertise and we bring those people in to look at our project – they help us make it better.”

Rosebank, which was discovered in 2004, lies about 80miles north-west of Shetland and is thought to contain as much as 240million barrels of potentially recoverable oil equivalent. Chevron holds a 40% stake, alongside Suncor Energy (30%), Siccar Point Energy (20%) and Ineos (10%).

Mr Ricketts, who recently took up the role in Aberdeen, having previously worked for Chevron in the San Joaquin Valley, California, said he was “very excited” to be involved in the firm’s efforts to grow its North Sea business.