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Future of historic West of Shetland oil field put in question

Future of historic West of Shetland oil field put in question

 

BP has suspended production from a historic West of Shetland development amid the challenges posed by the fallout from the coronavirus crisis and the energy transition.

The oil and gas giant has stopped pumping oil from its giant Foinaven fields West of Shetland for the time being after deciding not to try to extend the life of the production vessel used on them.

Foinaven was the first field brought into production West of Shetland.

The Petrojarl Foinaven floating production storage and offload (FPSO) vessel has been in use on the field since production started in 1997.

BP said: “Work had been under way to consider options to extend the life of the vessel out to 2025. However, it has now been concluded that, due to its age and the demands of operating west of Shetland, even with material further investment the Petrojarl Foinaven is not the right vehicle to recover the remaining resources from the Foinaven fields.”

The company said it had begun evaluating options to develop the estimated remaining resources of up to a possible 200 million barrels from the Foinaven area.

Around 390 million barrels have been produced to date.

The decision was made following the sharp fall in oil prices triggered by the pandemic. Under new chief executive Bernard Looney, BP plans to increase investment in areas such as renewables to help support the transition to a cleaner energy system.

The head of BP’s North Sea business Emeka Emembolu said retiring the FPSO represented the safest and most economical option.

He added: “ It also provides an opportunity to set the fields up for safe, efficient and more sustainable oil and gas production in the future.”

BP will not make any people redundant as a result of the decision to suspend production. It employs around 1,200 people in its North Sea business.

Source: The Herald

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Published: 16-04-2021

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