The UK Government today granted BP and its partners, Shell, ConocoPhillips and Chevron, approval to proceed with the £ 4.5 billion Clair Ridge project, the second phase of development of the giant Clair field, west of the Shetland Islands. BP will invest £ 4 billion in the projects; this will represent BP’s highest level of investment in the UK North Sea.
“Although it began over forty years ago, the story of the North Sea oil industry has a long way yet to run. BP has produced some five billion barrels of oil and gas equivalent so far from the region and we believe we have the potential for over three billion more,” said Bob Dudley, BP’s group chief executive.
“After some years of decline, we now see the potential to maintain our production from the North Sea at around 200,000 - 250,000 barrels of oil equivalent a day until 2030. And we are working on projects that will take production from some of our largest fields out towards 2050.”
The Clair Ridge project, which will install two new bridge-linked platforms with the capability to produce an estimated 640 million barrels of oil, is planned to come on stream in 2016 and to extend production from the greater Clair area to 2050. In addition to the 600 people already working on the project, it will provide hundreds of UK engineering, drilling and oilfield services jobs over the field’s life.
The Clair partners also today announced the successful appraisal of an extension to the Clair field, South West Clair. The appraisal well also encountered a significant new hydrocarbon column in an overlying reservoir horizon.
Earlier this year, BP and its partners also announced plans for the £3 billion redevelopment of the Schiehallion and Loyal fields, west of Shetland, and the £ 700 million development of the Kinnoull field in the central North Sea.
BP will use the latest technology to maximise recovery from the fields. Clair Ridge will include the first offshore deployment of advanced LoSal low salinity water reservoir injection capability and the partners are looking to employ polymer flood technology on the Schiehallion and Loyal fields redevelopment to improve the sweep of the reservoir and overall recovery of oil.