By the OGJ Online Staff
LONDON, Oct. 22 --
UK Energy Minister Brian Wilson said his department is considering seven new development projects under the "fallow fields program."
Among the most significant developments under the program is the BP PLC Clair field, discovered in the early 1970s and now in the development stage.
Wilson announced the seven potential developments while chairing a meeting of PILOT, the industry-government forum for the offshore sector.
He said, "It is vital for the future of the UK that we make the most of our natural resources and I am delighted that BP has brought development of Clair closer than ever before. The potential West of Shetland has been known for some time and further development of the province is eagerly awaited.
"Clair, once it proceeds to the implementation stage, will make a significant contribution to achieving PILOT's investment targets. It will also boost the UK's offshore supply chain."
Wilson said Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) officials are working with UK fabrication yards and other suppliers interested in the field development work.
Since last June's Fallow Review, DTI has approved four developments and received a further six plans for approval. DTI also is aware of plans for seven more fallow discoveries that could be submitted early next year.
PILOT's Stimulating Exploration workgroup is working toward a systematic reduction of fallow blocks, ensuring that licenses are in the hands of operators willing to invest in them. Another joint initiative on brownfield development is looking to stimulate production of an estimated 3 billion bbl of additional oil from mature fields.
PILOT, the successor body to the Oil and Gas Industry Task Force, was established in January 2000 to secure the long-term future of the oil and gas industry in the UK. PILOT consists of 23 government and industry representatives.