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BP orders four new platform support vessels to help deliver North Sea strategy

Release date:
17 May 2012

BP announced today it has ordered four new platform support vessels (PSV) to help deliver its long term business strategy in the North Sea. The vessels will be deployed to support its West of Shetland (WoS) and Norwegian operations and be delivered between the winter of 2013 and summer of 2014.


The purpose built and highly specified vessels have been designed to provide long term support to BP’s North Sea business and will provide the capabilities BP requires to deliver its strategy more efficiently and safely. The vessels will have oil spill response capability and special tanks to transport fluids required for planned enhanced oil recovery (EOR) schemes.


Performance and safety will also be further improved by having dedicated crews on long term hire, minimising turnover and enhancing familiarity with BP’s processes.


Trevor Garlick, Regional President for BP North Sea, said, “Our long term commitment to the North Sea gives us the confidence to make major investments in vital support services. These new vessels will provide BP with a number of safety and commercial benefits, as well as allow for the greater deployment of technology. Improving our capability to recover more oil from our reservoirs is crucial to the future of the North Sea.”


The announcement is also positive news for the local economies in Scotland and Norway, as nearly 80% of the total project and operating costs will be spent there. The operating and maintenance work will be locally supplied and officers and crew will be UK and Norwegian qualified mariners. The vessels’ operators will support seafarer’s development by sponsoring personnel through their professional qualifications, including an Officer Cadet training scheme.


Mark Hardie, UK Logistics Manager for BP’s North Sea Region, said: “This is a significant investment in BP’s North Sea marine capability and will bring a number of business and local benefits from late 2013 onwards. The UK dedicated vessels will be based and maintained in Aberdeen.”


The arrangement is structured such that BP Shipping has contracted Hyundai to build the vessels and then hire them to BP Exploration Operating Company on a 15 year bareboat term charter. This project is consistent with BP’s strategy for marine offshore supply vessels that promotes vessel ownership where long term ‘life of field’ can be demonstrated.


Pictures available on request – please e-mail della.armstrong@bp.com

BP in the North Sea


  • BP is a major investor in the North Sea with an extensive portfolio of production from existing reservoirs; new projects under development; and growth potential in undeveloped resources.
  • Current production is over 200,000 barrels of oil equivalent per day and the company has over 3 billion barrels of proven and contingent resource available
  • BP is investing $10 billion (c £6.7billion) net over the next five years in the North Sea – including major projects in the UK and in Norway.
  • Four major projects are currently underway in the UK - Clair Ridge, Quad 204 (Schiehallion/Loyal), Devenick and Kinnoull and two in Norway - Skarv and Valhall redevelopment.
  • In the 26th UKCS Licensing Round in 2010, BP was awarded licence interests in seven offshore exploration blocks - the largest licence award BP has received in the UK for more than a decade.

Further information




BP press office, London: +44 (0)20 7496 4076, bppress@bp.com

Matt Taylor: 01224 832030