BP (operator; 28.6 per cent interest), in partnership with Shell (28 per cent interest), Chevron (19.4 per cent) and ConocoPhillips (24 per cent), have announced first oil production from the Clair Ridge project in the West of Shetland region offshore the United Kingdom.
Located approximately 75 kilometres West of Shetland, the Clair field was first discovered in 1977 and holds an estimated 7 billion barrels of hydrocarbons.
As part of the Clair Ridge project, two new bridge-linked platforms and oil and gas export pipelines have been constructed and required a capital investment of more than £4.5 billion (over AUD $7.9 billion) for 40 years of production.
The project was designed to recover an estimated 640 million barrels of oil with production expected to ramp up to a peak at plateau level of 120,000 barrels of oil per day.
In announcing first oil production, Bernard Looney, BP Chief Executive Upstream said that the start-up of Clair Ridge is a culmination of decades of persistence.
“Clair was the first discovery we made in the West of Shetland area, but trying to access and produce its seven billion barrels proved very difficult. We had to leverage our technology and ingenuity to successfully bring on the first phase of this development in 2005,” he said.
“And now more than 40 years after the original discovery, we have first oil from Clair Ridge, one of the largest recent investments in the UK. This is a major milestone for our Upstream business and highlights BP’s continued commitment to the North Sea region.”
Ariel Flores, Regional President for BP’s North Sea business also commented that safely delivering first oil from Clair Ridge, in some of the harshest conditions in the UKCS, is the result of years of planning and hard work by BP, their partners and supply chain colleagues.
“We are proud to have played our part in this pioneering project and are excited for the Clair region’s continued potential,” Mr Flores said.
Clair Ridge is also the first offshore deployment of BP’s enhanced oil recovery technology, LoSal®, which has the potential to increase oil recovery from reservoirs by using reduced salinity water in water injection. This is expected to result in up to 40 million additional barrels being cost-effectively recovered over the lifetime of the development.
More information on the Clair Ridge project can be found here.