ABERDEEN, UK – BP and its co-venturers ConocoPhillips, Chevron and Shell have received approval from the UK Government to progress the second-phase development of the Clair oil field, 75 km (46.6 mi) west of the Shetland Islands.
Clair extends over an area of 220 sq km (85 sq mi), in water depths of around 140 m (459 ft). The Phase 1 development was sanctioned in 2001, and involved construction of a single fixed platform with production and process topsides equipment, supported by a steel jacket and associated oil and gas export facilities.
Production started in February 2005, and the first-phase facilities – designed to continue producing until 2028 – have so far delivered around 80 MMbbl. Oil and gas is exported via pipelines to the Sullom Voe terminal on Shetland for processing.
The second phase of the development - Clair Ridge - will target the part of the field north of Clair Phase 1.
Clair Ridge project calls for construction and installation of two new, bridge-linked platforms, both due to be installed in 2015 with production slated to start the following year. These facilities are being designed to extend production from the greater Clair area through 2050, and will involve a capital investment of roughly $7 billion.
Phase 2 has been engineered to produce 640 MMboe and to serve as a hub for future expansion, subject to further appraisal. At peak, production should near 120,000 b/d of oil.
BP says the development will include the world’s first offshore full-field deployment of LoSal enhanced oil recovery technology to modify the salinity of water injected into the reservoir and increase oil recovery.
To reduce the environmental impact, the platforms will be powered using dual-fuel power generators, incorporating waste heat recovery technology. And vapor recovery will be implemented to capture and recycle low-pressure gas for use as fuel or for exports to the shore.
BP Group Chief Executive Bob Dudley said the company has so far produced around 5 Bbboe from the North Sea region, “and we believe we have the potential for over three billion more.
“After some years of decline, we now see the potential to maintain our production from the North Sea at around 200,000-250,000 boe/d until 2030. And we are working on projects that will take production from some of our largest fields out towards 2050.”
BP also revealed it had successfully appraised an extension to the Clair field - South West Clair. Additionally, the 206/12a-3 well discovered oil in a new, shallower reservoir horizon. The result confirmed the overall field, discovered in 1977, as the UK’s largest hydrocarbon resource with more than 7 Bbboe of oil and gas initially in place.
Trevor Garlick, regional president for BP’s North Sea business, said: “The results from this well look very encouraging and confirm the potential of the Clair field to produce for decades to come. Additional development phases will likely be required to access the new segments in Clair.”
During 2012 the partners plan to acquire more seismic over the field to improve understanding of the complex reservoir structure. Further appraisal wells are under review, and the information derived will be used to establish the scale of any further development phases.