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BP starts seven year west of Shetland drilling programme with new deepsea Aberdeen rig

Release date:
29 April 2015

BP, on behalf of the Schiehallion co-venturers Shell and OMV, is pleased to announce the start of drilling on the Loyal field by the new-build, semi-submersible Deepsea Aberdeen, marking the start of a seven year drilling campaign west of Shetland.


Deepsea Aberdeen is contracted to drill wells across the Schiehallion and Loyal fields, as part of the Quad204 development.


The sixth-generation, dual derrick rig is the newest addition in Odfjell Drilling’s fleet of mobile offshore drilling units. It has been designed to the highest international safety standards to operate in harsh environments, carrying out ultra-deepwater drilling in depths up to 3,000m.


The Deepsea Aberdeen will initially drill two producer wells and one injector well on Loyal, before moving onto Schiehallion to continue drilling activities. Five wells are planned to be drilled prior to first oil from the new Glen Lyon floating, production, storage and offload (FPSO) vessel at the end of 2016.


Trevor Garlick, Regional President for BP’s North Sea business said: “This marks an exciting and important milestone for both the Quad 204 project and our wider North Sea business. The drilling campaign not only demonstrates our commitment to the Region in what is a challenging time, but will also help maximise production from Schiehallion and Loyal, contributing to the long term competitiveness of BP’s North Sea business.”


The Deepsea Aberdeen will be operated from Odfjell Drilling’s office in Aberdeen. Odfjell Drilling CEO, Simen Lieungh said: “The start of drilling operations on Deepsea Aberdeen marks another step in the development of Odfjell Drilling’s activities in the UK and harsh environment offshore regions. The rig design is based on our more than 40 years’ experience of drilling in the North Sea. Our offshore crew and our onshore organisation in Scotland are looking forward to working collaboratively with BP over the next seven years on the Quad 204 development.”


BP (operator) and Shell each have a 50 per cent ownership interest in the Loyal field. The Schiehallion field ownership interest is split between BP (operator) with 33.35 percent; OMV (11.76 per cent); Shell (54.89 per cent).

Further information



BP North Sea press office, 01224 833056 / 07917 307430

BP London press office, 020 7496 4076

Notes to editors


BP in the North Sea


  • The North Sea is an important region for BP and it expects to sustain a significant business here for the long term.
  • Along with its co-venturers, BP is in the middle of a five year, £7 billion investment programme in the North Sea, including major projects in the central North Sea and Shetland area.
  • BP recently announced first oil from its new Kinnoull field, tied back to the Andrew platform, in the central North Sea.
  • BP is continuing to invest in its major projects west of Shetland, Clair Ridge and Quad204, both of which will bring important new oil into production. BP is also investing in the reliability and integrity of its mature assets through an extensive renewal programme.
  • BP has an active exploration and appraisal programme in the North Sea, and announced in October the Vorlich discovery in the central North Sea.
  • BP has so far been awarded seven license blocks across the northern and central North Sea as part of last year’s 28th licensing round.

Quad 204


  • In July 2011 BP and partners announced their intention to invest around £3billion to re-develop the Schiehallion and Loyal fields as part of its Quad 204 project.
  • Schiehallion and Loyal have produced nearly 400 million barrels of oil since production started in 1998. The Quad204 development aims to access the remaining estimated 450 million barrels of resource still available and help extend production from the fields out to 2035 and beyond.
  • The development involves the installation of a new floating, production, storage and offloading vessel – the Glen Lyon – which is due to arrive in the North Sea in 2016, together with a major upgrade and replacement of the subsea facilities.
  • The new Glen Lyon FPSO replaces the Schiehallion FPSO, which started production in 1998. Production was suspended in 2013 to make way for Quad204 subsea works.
  • Glen Lyon, which measures 270 metres long by 52 metres wide, will be able to process and export up to 130,000 barrels of oil a day and store up to 1 million barrels.
  • Installation of the new subsea pipelines and facilities commenced in 2015, and this year all of the new pipelines and a number of new structures will be installed, along with pre-installation of the new flexible risers.
  • In January 2012, Odfjell Drilling was awarded a pre-contract award for the provision of the newbuild, semi-submersible drilling unit for use in the re-development of the Schiehallion and Loyal fields, as part of the Quad 204 project.
  • The Deepsea Aberdeen was fabricated by Daewoo Shipbuilding and Marine Engineering in South Korea.