BP and its co-venturers Shell, ConocoPhillips and Chevron announced today their decision to proceed with a two-year appraisal programme to look at the possibility of developing a third phase of the giant Clair field, west of the Shetland Islands.
The initial commitment involves a two year programme to drill five appraisal wells. This could increase to between eight and twelve wells, depending on results from these first wells. Drilling of the first well commenced recently.
The objectives of the programme are to provide greater certainty on overall reservoir volumes, including their distribution and fluid characteristics; to evaluate technologies to improve recovery from Greater Clair; and to test the possibility of new standalone developments and linkages to Clair Ridge.
Trevor Garlick, Regional President for BP North Sea, said: “This is a major milestone and a further big commitment to the west of Shetland by BP and its co-venturers. If successful, the appraisal programme could pave the way for a third phase of development at Clair - this is now a real possibility.”
Edward Davey, Energy and Climate Change Secretary, said: “This announcement by BP of a two year appraisal programme for the Greater Clair area West of Shetland is excellent news. It shows the industry’s commitment to maximise the potential in this area, which could hold up to 17% of our oil and gas reserves.
“Greater Clair proves there is still a long future for oil and gas production in the North Sea and will give confidence to new recruits that the industry offers a career for life.”
John Hayes, Energy Minister, said: “Greater Clair is extremely significant as it reinforces West of Shetland as an important area of future oil and gas development.
“The Government is working extremely hard to ensure the oil and gas industry has the confidence and certainty it needs to invest, providing the UK with a source of energy security and jobs for years to come.”
The initial investment in the appraisal programme will be greater than $500 million gross.