The oil company, part of the massive A. P. Moller-Maersk Group, said that it would cease productions at the Tyra field in the North Sea by October 1st, 2018.
Tyra is Denmark’s largest gas field and accounts for more than 90 percent of the country’s gas production. The field is operated by Maersk Oil on behalf of the Danish Underground Consortium, a joint venture with Shell, Chevron and the Danish state-owned company Nordsøfonden.
Maersk Oil said it was making the move because “an economically viable solution" for gas production in the Tyra field has not been found.
“Tyra has since 1984 been the main hub for gas production and processing in the Danish North Sea. The Tyra facilities are approaching the end of their operational life, and together with our partners in DUC we have assessed solutions for safe decommissioning and possible rebuilding of the Tyra facilities,” the company’s COO, Martin Rune Pedersen, said in a press release.
According to TV2, as many as 30,000 jobs could be lost if Maersk Oil follows through with its plans.
The company has numerous times pressed the Danish government for a new agreement on gas and oil production in the North Sea and some analysts said that Friday’s announcement should be viewed primarily as a warning.
“Generally speaking, I see this as a political move in a political debate. It’s just part of the game and it’s purely a negotiating tactic,” Michael Friis Jørgensen, the head analyst at Alm. Brand Markets, told news agency Ritzau.
He predicted that the government and Maersk Oil would reach an agreement long before the October 1st, 2018 date.
Finance Minister Kristian Jensen declined to comment on the company’s announcement.
“As long as we are negotiating, I will not comment,” he said.
Maerk said “the dialogue with Danish authorities will be continued” and stressed that “the remaining potential of the Danish North Sea is widely recognized”.
Denmark has previously announced its intention to use every last possible drop of oil from the Danish North Sea.