BP and partners invest almost £10bn in oil and gas projects

BP and partners are developing four new oil and gas projects that will see almost £10bn invested in the UK’s oil industry over the next five years.

The investment announcement follows approval from the UK government for BP and partners Shell, ConocoPhillips and Chevron to proceed with the £4.5bn Clair Ridge project, the second phase of development of the North Sea Clair field.

In a statement BP said its £4bn investment Clair and three other projects represents the highest level of annual investment the company has ever made into the UK North Sea.

‘Although it began more than 40 years ago, the story of the North Sea oil industry has a long way yet to run. BP has produced some five billion barrels of oil and gas equivalent so far from the region and we believe we have the potential for more than three billion more,’ said Bob Dudley, BP’s group chief executive.

‘After some years of decline, we now see the potential to maintain our production from the North Sea at around 200,000–250,000 barrels of oil equivalent a day until 2030. And we are working on projects that will take production from some of our largest fields out towards 2050.’

The company added that the four BP-operated North Sea projects are said to be part of a wave of major oil and gas projects around the world that BP expects to come on stream over the next five years.

The Clair Ridge project, which BP said will install two new bridge-linked platforms with the capability to produce an estimated 640 million barrels of oil, is planned to come on stream in 2016 and to extend production from the greater Clair area to 2050.

The Clair partners also announced the successful appraisal of an extension to the Clair field — South West Clair — confirming the overall Clair field complex’s status as the UK’s largest hydrocarbon resource with more than seven billion barrels of oil and gas initially in place.

In the central North Sea, with partner RWE, BP’s £550m development of the Devenick gas field recently passed a significant milestone when its 600-tonne module was lifted onto Marathon Oil’s East Brae platform.

Earlier this year, BP and its partners also announced plans for the £3bn redevelopment of the Schiehallion and Loyal fields, west of Shetland, and the £700m development of the Kinnoull field in the central North Sea.

BP said that together with development drilling and a number of smaller projects, the four projects represent almost £10bn of project investment by itself and its partners.