BP this morning confirmed the installation of platform jackets on its £4.5 billion Clair Ridge project 75km west of Shetland had been completed safely.
When constructed it will comprise two bridge-linked platforms as well as new pipeline infrastructure connecting to the processing facilities in Sullom Voe.
It is anticipated the development will see oil production continue until 2050.
The next major milestone is the installation of the topsides – comprising a drilling and production (DP) platform and a quarters and utilities platform (QU). This is due to be completed in 2015.
BP has a 28.6 per cent stake in the project and is working alongside ConocoPhillips (24 per cent), Chevron (19.4 per cent) and Shell (18.7 per cent) on the development which should start producing oil in 2016.
BP’s regional president for North Sea business, Trevor Garlick, said: “Less than two years ago we announced our decision to invest in the giant Clair Ridge project. The safe installation of the two jackets in to the sea bed is a fantastic achievement by the project team, and is a very visible sign of our commitment to maintaining a successful long term business in the UK.”
It is estimated the Clair Ridge development will produce 640 million barrels of oil over 40 years, with peak production expected to be up to 120,000 barrels per day. The new facilities will tie in to the existing oil and gas export pipelines to the Sullom Voe terminal. There is also provision on the DP platform for future subsea tie-backs.
The steel jacket platforms are constructed from tubular steel members in a framework that provides stability to support the topsides loadings. They are piled into the seabed. The scheme is the first of its kind using large-scale offshore enhanced oil recovery (EOR).
It will use reduced salinity water injection to extract a higher proportion of oil over the life of the field.
A BP spokesman said the platforms would use dual-fuel power generators, which use waste heat recovery technology, to “reduce the environmental impact”.
Vapour recovery will also be used to capture and recycle low pressure gas for use as fuel or for exporting to shore.
The Clair Ridge development is significant in the hsitory of the Clair Field, which was discovered in 1977 and extends over an area of 220km², in depths of approximately 140m.
The first development phase (Clair Phase 1) was sanctioned in 2001. It was developed with a single fixed platform with production and process topsides facilities, supported by a steel jacket and associated oil and gas export facilities;
Production began in February 2005 and it has produced around 90 million barrels. The first phase facilities are designed to continue producing for another 15 years.
The second phase of the development (Clair Ridge) is planned to target the part of the field to the north of Clair Phase 1 and is designed to continue producing until 2050.
One of the largest crane vessles in the world, Thialf, worked on the installation of the jackets. During a break she was in the south end of Lerwick Harbour for a crew change and minor repairs for a week last month.