LONDON – Britain’s Energy Minister Charles Hendry has given BP consent to drill the North Uist exploration well in block 213/25c, 125 km (78 mi) northwest of the Shetland Islands.
The water depth of 1,290 m (4,232 ft) is thought to be the deepest drilled to date in the UK offshore sector.
Approval came following strict government scrutiny of BP’s environmental impact and emergency response plans, along with the well design and drilling plan.
In accordance with standard guidance from the UK’s Department of Energy and Climate Change, BP provided detailed confirmation that it had taken into account the findings and recommendations of the various Macondo investigation reports.
This includes BP’s processes for:
• BOP management, inspection, and independent verification
• Auditing of well cementing procedures
• Communications, management responsibilities, and interaction with key contractors.
DECC also inspected the drillship Stena Carrons’s emergency response readiness to undertake BP’s proposed offshore operations.
As part of the consultation, DECC considered comments from the Joint Nature Conservation Committee, Marine Scotland, the Northern Lighthouse Board, the Maritime and Coastguard Agency, the Ministry of Defence, and other representations by non-governmental organizations.