BP brings Clair Ridge to life 41 years after oil discovery

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BP, in partnership with Shell, ConocoPhillips and Chevron, has begun first oil production from the Clair Ridge project in the West Shetland, offshore the United Kingdom.

The supermajor said that Clair Ridge was the second phase of development of the Clair field, located 75km West of Shetland, which had been discovered in 1977 and has an estimated seven billion barrels of hydrocarbons

BP said that two new bridge-linked platforms and oil and gas export pipelines have been constructed as part of the Clair Ridge project. The new facilities, which required capital investment in excess of £4.5 billion, are designed for 40 years of production. The project has been designed to recover an estimated 640 million barrels of oil with production expected to ramp up to a peak at plateau level of 120,000 barrels of oil per day.

Bernard Looney, BP chief executive Upstream, said: “The start-up of Clair Ridge is a culmination of decades of persistence. Clair was the first discovery we made in the West of Shetland area in 1977. But trying to access and produce its seven billion barrels proved very difficult. We had to leverage our technology and ingenuity to successfully bring on the first phase of this development in 2005.

“And now more than 40 years after the original discovery, we have first oil from Clair Ridge, one of the largest recent investments in the UK. This is a major milestone for our upstream business and highlights BP’s continued commitment to the North Sea region.”

Clair Ridge is the first offshore deployment of BP’s enhanced oil recovery technology, LoSal®, which has the potential to increase oil recovery from reservoirs by using reduced salinity water in water injection. This is expected to result in up to 40 million additional barrels being cost-effectively recovered over the lifetime of the development.

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