BP, partners to invest £10 billion in UK North Sea projects

By OGJ editors

BP PLC and its partners will invest nearly £10 billion in four key oil and gas development projects along with some smaller ones during the next 5 years in the UK North Sea.

The main projects are the £4.5 billion Clair Ridge development west of the Shetland Islands, which received approval from the UK government; the £550 million development of Devenick gas field; the £3 billion redevelopment of Schiehallion and Loyal fields, west of Shetland; and the £700 million development of Kinnoull field in the central North Sea.

Clair field

BP also said the recent South West Clair appraisal well (206/12a-3) confirmed the estimate of 7 billion boe in place in Clair, although due to its complexity the amount that will be recovered is uncertain.

The appraisal well also encountered a hydrocarbon column in an overlying reservoir horizon, which BP expects to development in the future.

Clair, discovered in 1977, is 75 km west of Shetland and extends over an area of 220 sq km in 140 m of water.

Clair includes a single fixed platform with production and process topsides facilities, supported by a steel jacket and associated oil and gas export facilities. Production from Clair commenced in February 2005 and has produced about 80 million bbl of oil. BP expects the facility to remain in production until 2028.

The Clair Ridge project is the second phase of the Clair field development and involves the installation of two bridge-linked fixed steel jackets and topsides, comprising a drilling and production platform and a quarters and utilities platform.

BP expects to maximize recovery from the Clair Ridge with the first offshore deployment of its LoSal low-salinity water. To reduce environmental impact, the project calls for providing electrical power to the platforms with dual-fuel power generators, incorporating waste heat recovery technology. The platforms will have vapor recovery units to capture and recycle low-pressure gas for use as fuel or for exporting to shore.

The new facilities will tie into the existing oil and gas export pipelines to the Shetland Islands. A provision on the drilling-production platform will allow future subsea tie-backs.

BP expects to produce an estimated 640 million bbl of oil from Clair Ridge. The company plans to install the platforms in 2015 with production to commence in 2016. BP noted that the development will extend the life of greater Clair area to 2050 and provide a hub for future expansion. It expects a peak production of 120,000 bo/d from the project.

AMEC and Rig Design Services will do the engineering of the project. Aker's Verdal yard in Norway will build the platforms, with the topsides built by Hyundai Heavy Industries in South Korea. BP expects to let a contract for the 500-tonne subsea structures in 2012.

Devenick field

The development of Devenick gas field on Blocks 9/29a and 9/24b continues with the installation of a 600-tonne module, fabricated at McNulty Offshore Construction's South Shields yard, onto Marathon Oil's East Brae platform. The module will receive production from a 34-km insulated pipeline from a subsea manifold initially connected to two subsea completed wells.

From East Brae the gas will enter the SAGE pipeline system to the terminal at St. Fergus. Liquid production will go through the Brae Liquids pipeline to the Forties Pipeline system.

BP expects Devenick to come on stream in 2012 and have a peak production of 200 MMscfd of gas in 2013, which is about 3% of UK gas needs.

Devenick holds an estimated 430 bcf and will remain in production until 2025, according to BP.

Devenick, discovered in 1983, is in 114 m of water (OGJ Online, July 7, 2010).

For Devenick, Technip is fabricating the pipelines and spools at Evanton and the subsea manifold and other subsea equipment at Isleburn. JP Kenny will do the subsea engineering and package management. Petrofac will perform the design and construction work on East Brae, while Aker Solutions designed the new module.

Schiehallion, Loyal, Kinnoull fields

Earlier this year, plans were announced for redevelopment of the Schiehallion and Loyal fields west of Shetland (OGJ Online July 13, 2011) and the Kinnoull field in the central North Sea (OGJ Online Sept. 7, 2011).

In Schiehallion and Loyal, BP may deploy polymers to improve the reservoir sweep to improve oil recovery.

In Clair, the operator BP Exploration Operating Co. holds a 27.6215% interest. Its partners are ConocoPhillips (UK) Ltd. 24.0029%, Chevron North Sea Ltd. 19.4225%, Enterprise Oil Ltd. (Shell) 18.6831%, Shell Clair UK Ltd. (Shell) 9.29%, and Britoil PLC (BP) 0.98%.

In Devenick, BP holds an 88.7% interest will the remaining 11.3% held by RWE Dea UK.

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