BP, on behalf of co-venturers Shell, Chevron and ConocoPhillips, announced on Friday the first oil production from the giant Clair Ridge project in the West of Shetland region offshore U.K.
Clair Ridge is the second phase of development of the Clair field, 75 kilometers West of Shetland. The field, which was discovered in 1977, has an estimated seven billion barrels of hydrocarbons, according to BP's statement.
The project has been designed to recover an estimated 640 million barrels of oil with production expected to ramp up to a peak at plateau level of 120,000 barrels of oil per day.
"Clair Ridge is the first offshore deployment of BP's enhanced oil recovery technology, LoSal, which has the potential to increase oil recovery from reservoirs by using reduced salinity water in water injection," BP said.
This is expected to result in up to 40 million additional barrels being cost-effectively recovered over the lifetime of the development.
According to the press release, two new, bridge-linked platforms and oil and gas export pipelines have been constructed as part of the Clair Ridge project.
The new facilities, which required a capital investment in excess of £4.5 billion ($5.79 billion), are designed for 40 years of production.
In addition to the platforms, the project also included new pipeline infrastructure with the installation of a 5.5-kilometer, 22-inch oil export pipeline tying into the Clair Phase 1 export pipeline. Oil from Clair is exported to the Sullom Voe Terminal on Shetland.
A new 14.6-kilometer, six-inch gas export pipeline tying Clair Ridge into the West of Shetland Pipeline Systems (WOSPS) was also installed as part of the project. The WOSPS transports gas from West of Shetland to the Sullom Voe Terminal.
Clair Ridge also features an advanced drill rig that will deliver a drilling program over several years. There are 36 well slots, two of which are being used for the tieback of pre-drilled wells.
"The drilling program, which is likely to last more than 10 years, includes drilling and completing development wells from the remaining 34 well slots," the statement added.
The start of production of Clair Ridge follows the startup earlier in 2018 of five other upstream major projects: Atoll Phase One, offshore Egypt, Shah Deniz 2 gas development in Azerbaijan, TAAS expansion project in Russia, Western Flank B offshore Western Australia and Thunderhorse Northwest Expansion in the Gulf of Mexico.
"This string of developments will follow from 2017’s seven major project completions and is key to delivering the 900,000 barrels of oil equivalent new production that BP expects from new upstream major projects by 2021," BP said.
BP is the operator of the Clair Ridge project with a 28.6 percent interest. The other partners are Shell (28 percent), ConocoPhillips (24 percent) and Chevron North Sea Limited (19.4 percent).
By Hale Turkes