BP has announced an agreement to progress a major re-development of the Schiehallion and Loyal oil fields to the west of the Shetland Islands.
According to BP, Schiehallion and Loyal have produced nearly 400 million barrels of oil since production started in 1998 and an estimated 450 million barrels of resource is still available.
The investment of approximately £3bn in the re-development of the fields will take production to 2035 and possibly beyond.
The Quad 204 project involves replacing the existing Schiehallion floating, production, storage and offloading (FPSO) vessel with a new FPSO vessel, which is scheduled to be installed in 2015.
The new vessel will be 270m long by 52m wide and able to process and export up to 130,000 barrels a day of oil, as well as storing in excess of one million barrels.
BP said in a statement that there will also be a major investment in the upgrade and replacement of the subsea facilities to enable the full development of the reserves.
‘We are committed to growing and maintaining a material, high-quality business there for the long term,’ said Bob Dudley, group chief executive of BP. ‘We are pursuing a number of additional growth opportunities to support this strategy. For us, a key to this strategy is the need to maintain the integrity of our existing infrastructure; to look after our reservoirs and maximise recovery; and to deploy and develop the necessary capability.’
The new facilities are scheduled to commence production in 2016.
BP will have a 36.3 per cent ownership interest in the new FPSO vessel, with Shell, Hess, Statoil, OMV (UK) and Murphy Petroleum also taking stakes.