UK based oil major BP is to invest US$ 1 billion (GB£670 million), in the UK sector of the North Sea.
BP aims to greatly extend the life of its offshore oil and gas assets that are currently operational in the UK sector, mostly beyond 2030.
Earlier this week, Offshore Post reported on the early government figures showing UK offshore oil and gas production up for the first time in 15 years. This has been a direct result of UK offshore operators greatly improving the integrity of their assets.
BP has said that it will concentrate its financial energies on the new West of Shetland operations, mainly the new Clair Ridge platform, and the UK’s Central North Sea (CNS), where it has multiple mature assets.
BP’s Regional president for North Sea business, Trevor Garlick said: “These are challenging times for the industry and we are having to make hard choices. Nonetheless, we remain committed to improving the competitiveness of the North Sea and to maximising economic recovery from our fields.
Garlick went further saying “In parallel, we are drilling new wells on ETAP’s Machar and Marnock fields, replacing subsea infrastructure, and deploying new technologies to help maximise the fields’ recovery. ETAP holds significant potential and we are working to ensure its reliability, efficiency and long-term competitiveness. This project will secure the future of the field until 2030 and beyond.”
Oil & Gas UK
Speaking on the news from BP, chief executive of Oil & Gas UK, Deirdre Michie, said, “Oil & Gas UK is pleased to welcome BP’s announcement today of a $1billion investment in its Eastern Trough Area Project, securing the project’s future for a further 15 years to 2030.
Michie went further saying “Given the harsh business environment upstream oil and gas companies currently face, with the oil price more than halved since this time last year, industry as a whole is putting a great deal of effort into improving the performance of its assets – and that is something we’ll look to explore in further detail in our 2015 Economic Report next month.”
The Eastern Trough Area Project (ETAP), covers and are that includes nine different reserviors, with six operated by BP, the other three operated by Royal Dutch Shell.
Covering an area of 35km in diameter, ETAP has total reserves of around 490 million barrels of oil, 2 billion cubic feet (57,000,000 m3) of natural gas and 35 million barrels of natural gas condensate.