By the OGJ Online Staff
LONDON, Oct. 10 -- The UK government is studying BP PLC's environmental plan for its $1.5 billion Clair field project off the Shetland Islands.
The area is environmentally sensitive and the government has to be satisfied that new European Habitats Directive conditions are being met.
Approval of the assessment is expected early next year. Meanwhile, BP is in discussions with contractors and suppliers for the project, which will involve the first fixed-platform in the West of Shetlands area.
At present the FPSOs serving Schiehallion, Loyal, and Foinaven fields further west are the only oil installations in the area.
At Clair, BP plans a four-legged platform over the first appraisal well, 206/8-10z, drilled in 1996 in 140 m of water 75 km west of the Shetlands. The project will involve a topside structure of 10,500 tonnes, on the limit of any lifting barge equipment operating in the North Sea.
Clair field covers six blocks in North Sea Quadrant 206. Estimated reserves are more than 4 billion boe.
Initial plans focus on the southern sector of the reservoir where reserves are estimated at 250 million boe and production at 60,000 b/d when first oil comes in 2004.
Project partners are due to meet within 2 weeks to give final approval. BP, as operator, has 29%, Conoco Inc. 24%, ChevronTexaco Corp. 20%, Enterprise Oil Ltd. 18%, and Amerada Hess Corp. 9%.
Production would flow via a new 106 km pipeline to an expanded Magnus pipeline and then to the Sullom Voe terminal.
Also, BP has placed a $111 million order with Heerema Tonsberg of Norway for a 16-slot wellhead platform for the Valhall Flanks project, which will tap reserves of 127 million boe. The contract includes an option for a second wellhead platform.
Valhall is 30 km south of Ekofisk field and has been producing oil since October 1982. Originally reserves were estimated at 247 million boe, but the additional development and new data have increased that to more than 1 billion boe.