The new project in the North Sea operated by BP, the London based oil and gas giant, has started oil production recently. The project, Clair Ridge, is the second phase of the massive Clair field situated in the West of Shetland area, which is strategically important, and is anticipated to produce about 120,000 barrels every day.
The area is believed to have the potential of becoming the most productive oil site in U.K. Clair Ridge would supposedly need about 750 people for working in the offshore staff at one time, and 350-strong staff onshore, some of which are housed in a floating hotel.
As anticipated by the utility company, there are almost seven billion barrels of hydrocarbons in Clair field and 640 million barrels of oil are predicted to be produced throughout its expected lifetime of 40 years. Currently, the development of a third phase is under evaluation, informed sources familiar with the matter.
Further from the sources, £4.5bn of capital investment was needed to access Clair Ridge, which included oil and gas export platforms and two new bridge-linked platforms. Infrastructure built for the first Clair phase was purportedly linked through a 3.4-mile pipeline. The company is hoping to produce 40 million extra barrels, by using the new LoSal technology in production, over the lifetime of Clair Ridge.
CEO of the Oil and Gas Authority (OGA), Dr. Andy Samuel, mentioned that producing the first oil from Clair Ridge platform is a huge milestone for the UK Continental Shelf. The OGA sees the West of Shetland as strategically significant with considerable potential still remaining.
The Clair Field, with substantial scope for development of further phases, has an additional seven billion barrels and is predicted to keep producing for many upcoming decades, Dr. Samuel added. Sources confirmed that BP is operating the project and has a 28.6% interest in it, with the remaining share divided among Shell (28%), ConocoPhillips (24%) and Chevron North Sea Limited (19.4%).