Related Articles
Forward article link
Share PDF with colleagues

Big reserves boost for BP operated Clair field

A southwest extension at the BP-operated Clair field has boosted its initial in-place resources to more than 7 billion barrels of oil equivalent (boe)

THE ANNOUNCEMENT came on the same day as the go-ahead for the £4.5 billion ($6.9 billion) second-phase development, the Clair Ridge project.

BP, which partners ConocoPhillips, Chevron and Shell at the UK Atlantic Margin field, said the 206/12a-3 well, drilled 10 km from the Clair-1 platform, proved the main reservoir extends to the southwest. The well also hit oil in a new, shallower reservoir horizon.

“The well results give us confidence in Clair’s resources,” a BP spokesman said, adding that finding oil “where we didn’t expect it” adds significant upside to the project.

The news comes as the UK government gave final approval for the second-phase Clair Ridge development. Clair, which was discovered in 1977, was brought on stream in 2005 through a single fixed platform with production and process topsides facilities. So far, Clair has produced about 80 million boe.

Clair Ridge targets a section of the field to the north of Clair-1. Two new, bridge-linked platforms – a drilling and production (DP) unit, and a quarters and utilities platform – will be installed in 2015, with first production scheduled for 2016. Clair Ridge will produce an estimated 640 million barrels of oil over its planned 40-year life. BP added there was provision on the DP platform for future subsea tie-backs, should a third phase of development be sanctioned.

Clair’s hydrocarbons are trapped in a highly complicated, fractured reservoir, however, which could complicate further development. BP is not ruling out a third phase of development, although this will depend on the results of two planned appraisal wells and seismic data. Spud dates for the appraisals have not been set, although 2012 or 2013 are likely. It is understood these wells will target Clair’s southwest sector.

BP is planning a high-density ocean-bottom cable-seismic shoot over Clair Southwest next year as part of its appraisal programme. A company spokesman said: “It took us 20 years to work out how to produce from the field. But advances in seismic technology have given us a better understanding of the reservoir and we are optimistic about its potential.”

Clair lies 75 km west of the Shetland Islands and covers an area of 220 square km, in water depths of 140 metres.

Clair Ridge is part of a wider, five-year £10 billion investment programme in the UK North Sea planned by BP and its partners. The £550 million Devenick gas development is due on stream next year. A £3 billion redevelopment programme is under way at the Schiehallion and Loyal fields, west of Shetland; and £700 million has been spent to bring Kinnoull, in the central North Sea, into production through a subsea tie-back as part of the Andrew Area development.

Also in this section
Petrobras pulls back spending
18 September 2020
Spotlight falls on pre-salt production as Latin American NOC dials down capex
Latest licensing rounds
15 September 2020
The industry's most comprehensive list of current and recent rounds for onshore and offshore licences
Pemex scales back upstream goals
11 September 2020
The strained producer downgrades its 2021 forecast as rapid economic recovery looks doubtful