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Greater Clair appraisal programme approved

Release date:
27 March 2013

BP and its co-venturers Shell, ConocoPhillips and Chevron announced today their decision to proceed with a two-year appraisal programme to look at the possibility of developing a third phase of the giant Clair field, west of the Shetland Islands.


The initial commitment involves a two year programme to drill five appraisal wells. This could increase to between eight and twelve wells, depending on results from these first wells. Drilling of the first well commenced recently.


The objectives of the programme are to provide greater certainty on overall reservoir volumes, including their distribution and fluid characteristics; to evaluate technologies to improve recovery from Greater Clair; and to test the possibility of new standalone developments and linkages to Clair Ridge.


Trevor Garlick, Regional President for BP North Sea, said: “This is a major milestone and a further big commitment to the west of Shetland by BP and its co-venturers. If successful, the appraisal programme could pave the way for a third phase of development at Clair - this is now a real possibility.”


Edward Davey, Energy and Climate Change Secretary, said: “This announcement by BP of a two year appraisal programme for the Greater Clair area West of Shetland is excellent news. It shows the industry’s commitment to maximise the potential in this area, which could hold up to 17% of our oil and gas reserves.


“Greater Clair proves there is still a long future for oil and gas production in the North Sea and will give confidence to new recruits that the industry offers a career for life.”


John Hayes, Energy Minister, said: “Greater Clair is extremely significant as it reinforces West of Shetland as an important area of future oil and gas development.


“The Government is working extremely hard to ensure the oil and gas industry has the confidence and certainty it needs to invest, providing the UK with a source of energy security and jobs for years to come.”


The initial investment in the appraisal programme will be greater than $500 million gross.

Further information:



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

BP North Sea press office, Aberdeen, +44 1224 832030

Note to editors


Clair field


  • The Clair field was originally discovered in 1977;
  • The Clair field is located 75 km west of Shetland and extends over an area of 220km2, in water depths of approximately 140m;
  • Total hydrocarbons initially in place across the entire field are estimated at around 8 billion barrels of oil equivalent, although due to the highly complex and fractured nature of the reservoir, there has been considerable uncertainty as to how much of the oil can be recovered.


Clair Phase 1


  • 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 from the Clair field commenced in February 2005 from the first phase facilities and has so far produced around 90 million barrels. The first phase facilities are designed to continue producing until 2028;
  • Oil and gas is exported via pipelines to the Sullom Voe terminal on Shetland where it is managed for onward use;


Clair Phase 2 – “Clair Ridge”


  • The second phase of the development – “Clair Ridge” - is planned to target the part of the field to the north of Clair Phase 1;
  • The development will involve the construction and installation of two new, bridge-linked platforms, scheduled to be installed in 2015 with production expected to commence in 2016.
  • The new facilities are being designed for 40 years of production and will require a total capital investment of circa $7 billion.
  • The new development will have the capability to produce an estimated 640 million barrels of oil and will provide a hub for future expansion, subject to further appraisal. Peak production is expected to be up to 120,000 barrels of oil per day.
  • The project will also include the world’s first offshore full field deployment of LoSal* enhanced oil recovery technology to modify the salinity of water injected into the reservoir and increase the recovery of oil (*LoSal is a registered trade mark of BP plc).


The Clair co-venturers


  • BP Exploration Operating Co 27.6215% and Britoil Limited (BP) 0.98%; ConocoPhillips (U.K.) Sigma Limited 24.0029%; Chevron North Sea Limited 19.4225%; Enterprise Oil Limited (Shell) 18.6831% and Shell Clair UK Limited (Shell) 9.2900%

Cautionary statement


This statement contains certain forward-looking statements with respect to the operations and businesses of BP and certain of the plans and objectives of BP with respect to these items. These statements generally, but not always, are identified by the use of words such as "will", "scheduled to", “expected to", "is planned to" or similar expressions. In particular, these include certain statements regarding future capital expenditure, the date or period when planned plants or facilities are expected to be installed, longevity of facilities, future hydrocarbon production volume, and the date or period in which production is expected to come on stream. By their nature, forward looking statements involve risk and uncertainty because they relate to events and depend on circumstances that will or may occur in the future and are outside the control of BP. Actual results may differ materially from those expressed in such statements, depending on a variety of factors, including the factors such as; the timing of bringing new fields on stream; future levels of industry product supply; demand and pricing; operational problems; general economic conditions; political stability and economic growth in relevant areas of the world; changes in laws and governmental regulations; actions by regulators; exchange rate fluctuations; development and use of new technology; the success or otherwise of partnering; the actions of competitors; natural disasters and adverse weather conditions; changes in public expectations and other changes to business conditions; wars and acts of terrorism or sabotage; and other factors discussed in BP's Form 20-F, SEC File No. 1-06262, including under 'Risk Factors'.