OE 2017: BP sees scope for further innovation, cost cuts

BP is positive about the future of the North Sea according to CEO Bob Dudley, one of the speakers at the plenary session at Offshore Europe.

Offshore staff

ABERDEEN, UK – BP is positive about the future of the North Sea according to CEO Bob Dudley, one of the speakers at the plenary session at Offshore Europe.

“We’re seeing a lot of renewed focus on the basin,” he said, citingHurricane Energy opening the prospect of a new area west of Shetland via its basement oil discoveries; Total’s recent acquisition of Maersk Oil; and BP’s partnership with Aker in Norway.

“We’ve reshaped our UK portfolio,” he continued, “so that we are now focused mainly west of Shetland, with ourQuad 204 project coming onstream earlier this year and Clair Ridge on track for next year, with great partners such as Shell, ConocoPhillips and Chevron.

“Also, BP is participating in six exploration wells in the UK this year, more than we’ve drilled here for decades.”

Like the rest of the UK North Sea players, the company remains focused on continuing to drive down costs – average lifting costs in the North Sea have come down to less than $15/bbl today, Dudley said, with scope for further reductions to $12/bbl in the 2020s, he added.

At the same time, BP remains committed to investing in new technologies to sustain its producing assets in the area.

In partnership with Shell, the company plans to trial a new ocean bottom seismic cable system at Clair Ridge; it has also has been involved in trials of an automated offshore drilling rig, controlled from the shore, as well as installing new types of sensors in its wells.

Dudley concluded by noting that in the UK sector, oil production is back up, while costs are coming down. There is still plenty of room for further innovation, he suggested, but at the same time the industry needs to remain “cost-disciplined.”

09/05/2017

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