Topside modules installed on Clair Ridge platform west of Shetland

BP PLC reported the installation of quarters and utilities (QU) topside modules on the new platform on Clair field, 75 km west of the Shetland Islands in 140 m of water.

The QU platform comprises the quarters and utilities integrated deck (QUID) with a lift weight of 9,400 tonnes, power generation (GM) module with a lift weight of 4,550 tonnes, and living quarters (LQ) module with a lift weight of 2,210 tonnes. The Heerema Thialf heavy-lift vessel lifted the three modules onto the preinstalled jackets.

Clair Ridge is a multibillion investment in the second phase of development targeting an area north of Clair Phase 1. The project comprises two bridge-linked platforms and pipeline systems to connect storage and redelivery facilities on Shetland.

BP says the next major milestone will be the installation of the production and drilling platform topside modules, scheduled for summer 2016 with production expected to launch in late 2017. South Korea’s Hyundai Heavy Industries received the contract for the topside processing modules.

The Clair Ridge development will be capable of producing 640 million bbl of oil over a 40 year period, with peak production expected to reach 120,000 bo/d. Facilities are designed to continue producing until 2050.

BP describes Clair Ridge as the first sanctioned large-scale offshore enhanced oil recovery scheme using reduced salinity water injection to extract a higher proportion of oil over the life of the field. To reduce the environmental impact of the project, the platforms will be powered using dual-fuel power generators, incorporating waste heat recovery technology. Vapor recovery also will be used to capture and recycle low pressure gas for use as fuel or for exporting to shore.

Clair field background

Clair field was discovered in 1977 and its first development phase was sanctioned in 2001. Phase 1 utilized a single fixed platform with production and process topsides facilities, supported by a steel jacket and associated oil and gas export facilities.

Production from Clair started in 2005 from the first phase facilities, which are designed to continue producing until 2028 (OGJ Online, Feb. 25, 2005). About 80 million bbl have been produced thus far. Oil and gas is exported via pipelines to the Sullom Voe terminal on Shetland where it is processed.

Total hydrocarbons initially in place across the entire field are estimated at more than 7 billion boe. However, BP notes there has been considerable uncertainty as to how much of the oil could be recovered due to the highly complex and fractured nature of the reservoir.

Clair Ridge partners are BP units BP Exploration Operating Co. with 27.6215% interest and Britoil PLC 0.98%, Royal Dutch Shell PLC units Enterprise Oil Ltd. 18.6831% and Shell Clair UK Ltd. 9.2900%, ConocoPhillips (UK) Ltd. 24.0029%, and Chevron North Sea Ltd. 19.4225%.

The consortium in 2013 reported plans to drill at least five appraisal wells over 2 years toward a possible third phase of development (OGJ Online, Apr. 2, 2013).

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