BP commits to new work in the North Sea

April 11 (UPI) — Commitments to two new developments in the British waters of the North Sea could lead to 30,000 more barrels beyond 2020, BP said.

BP said it committed to developing the Alligin and Vorlich prospects, both of which are close to existing floating production infrastructure. At their peak, they’ll churn out around 30,000 barrels of oil equivalent per day and production is expected in 2020.

“These projects follow on from a period of record investment by BP in the North Sea which helped deliver our Quad 204 project last year and will deliver our Clair Ridge project which is planned to start-up later in 2018,” BP North Sea Regional President Ariel Flores said in a statement. “While not on the same scale as Quad 204 and Clair Ridge, Alligin and Vorlich will lead to significant production gains and further demonstrate BP’s commitment to the North Sea.”

Working under the Quad 204 regional redevelopment effort, the company started oil production from the Schiehallion area west of the Shetland area of the North Sea last year. BP has produced nearly 400 million barrels of oil from Schiehallion since production started in the late 1990s and the company said redevelopment could yield another 450 million barrels and extend the field’s life into the 2030s.

The North Sea redevelopment is one of seven major projects that BP has planned across its entire portfolio. New production from the Clair Ridge project in the North Sea is expected later this year and the company said it plans to drill dozens of new wells in the region before the end of the decade.

Deirdre Michie, the head of trade group Oil & Gas U.K., said Wednesday there are more than a dozen projects that are expected to get sanctioned this year, signaling the North Sea is recovering after years of decline attributed to field maturation.

“Capital investment is progressively returning to the North Sea with the number of projects approved this year so far more than the whole of last year,” she said in a statement.