BP group approves Clair appraisal program

A group of major oil companies led by BP PLC will drill at least five appraisal wells over 2 years toward a possible third phase of development of giant Clair oil and gas field in the West of Shetlands area offshore the UK.

Depending on results, the well count might reach 8-12. Drilling of the first well has begun.

BP said program goals are to increase certainty about overall reservoir volumes, including distribution and fluid characteristics; to evaluate technologies to improve recovery from the greater Clair area; and to test the possibility of new stand-alone developments and linkages to Clair Ridge, the planned second stage of development.

Clair field, discovered in 1977 and on production since February 2005, covers 220 sq km about 745 km west of the Shetland Islands. Water depth is about 140 m.

The field is estimated to hold 8 billion boe in place in a complex, fractured reservoir.

According to the UK government, average Clair production last year was 17,707 b/d of oil and 6 MMcfd of natural gas. Clair oil production peaked in 2009 at about 51,000 b/d.

The field produces through a fixed steel-jacket platform with topsides production and process facilities. Oil and gas flow by pipeline to the Sullom Voe terminal.

The Clair Ridge development, in the northern part of the field, is to begin production in 2016 via two bridge-linked platforms to be installed in 2015. Peak production from Clair Ridge, which is to represent a hub for future expansion, is expected to be as high as 120,000 b/d (OGJ Online, Oct. 13, 2011).

Clair interests are BP Exploration Operating Co. 27.6215% and BP affiliate Britoil Ltd. 0.98%, ConocoPhillips (UK) Sigma Ltd. 24.0029%; Chevron North Sea Ltd. 19.4225%, Enterprise Oil Ltd. (Shell) 18.6831%, and Shell Clair UK Ltd. 9.29%.

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