British oil major BP is planning to invest $1 billion (£640 million) to expand the life of its North Sea assets.
The company hopes that this investment will secure the future of its Eastern Trough Area Project (ETAP) fields, located in the UK sector of the North Sea, until at least 2030.
The Eastern Trough Area Project is an integrated development of nine different reservoirs with differing ownership and operatorship – six separate fields are operated by BP, and a further three fields are operated by Shell. BP’s reserves in ETAP lie in its interests in Marnock, Mungo, Machar, Monan, Mirren and Madoes fields.
In an e-mail to Offshore Energy Today BP confirmed the $1 billion investment. BP’s regional president for North Sea, Trevor Garlick, said: “These are challenging times for the industry and we are having to make hard choices.
“Nonetheless, we remain committed to improving the competitiveness of the North Sea and to maximising economic recovery from our fields.”
Garlick further explained: “BP’s primary areas of focus are the west of Shetland and central North Sea, where we are investing in both new developments such as Clair Ridge and Quad204, and in extending the life of our mature assets.
“Two weeks ago we welcomed the arrival of the Safe Caledonia flotel into the ETAP area, launching the start of a major investment programme to renew the platform and extend its field life.
“In parallel, we are drilling new wells on ETAP’s Machar and Marnock fields, replacing subsea infrastructure, and deploying new technologies to help maximise the fields’ recovery.
Garlick concluded: “ETAP holds significant potential and we are working to ensure its reliability, efficiency and long-term competitiveness. This project will secure the future of the field until 2030 and beyond.”
Oil & Gas UK greets investment in North Sea
Oil & Gas UK, the representative organization for the UK offshore oil and gas industry, welcomed the news of investment in the North Sea.
Oil & Gas UK’s chief executive Deirdre Michie, commented: “Oil & Gas UK is pleased to welcome BP’s announcement today of a $1billion investment in its Eastern Trough Area Project, securing the project’s future for a further 15 years to 2030.
“According to figures from the Department for Energy, the country’s primary demand for oil and gas, critical for our transport and heating and powering our homes, is set to remain unchanged until 2030 at least. It is encouraging to see the continuing investment BP is making in its North Sea assets and projects to deliver a secure indigenous supply of energy for the country.
“Given the harsh business environment upstream oil and gas companies currently face, with the oil price more than halved since this time last year, industry as a whole is putting a great deal of effort into improving the performance of its assets – and that is something we’ll look to explore in further detail in our 2015 Economic Report next month.”
Offshore Energy Today Staff