All tariffs and charges in the FPS are governed by 3 key principles:
- Set by a competitive process where appropriate and otherwise economically justified
- Reflective of the nature of service being provided
- Representative of a fair balance between risk taken and return earned
All tariffs offered in FPS are guaranteed until 2015. Thereafter BP may exercise an option to switch from tariff to a cost share mechanism.
The Components of the Tariff
The tariff has been built up from 4 key components that fully reflect the cost of developing and operating the Forties System:
- Historic Capital Investment
- Future Operating Costs
- Future Capital Costs
- Future Decommissioning Costs
Historic Capital Investment
The magnitude of the Historic Capital Investment component has been evaluated following Office of Fair Trading guidance that states 'it is justifiable to seek recompense for a historic investment (through tariff) where it can be shown that the investor has not yet recovered a reasonable return on that investment.' Investment in FPS can be categorised into three individual investment phases (as shown in the diagram below). To fairly evaluate the return of the system each investment decision has been evaluated independently.
The £200m initial investment in the FPS in the 1970's was made primarily to export Forties Field oil production. As this investment was never expected to be recompensed by 3rd party tariff revenue it has been excluded from the historic capital investment component of the tariff. The second £1bn investment phase in the early 1990's was made to expand the capacity of FPS in order to win additional 3rd party business. This investment was over and above that required to provide continued service to existing customers and did not have the security of guaranteed future volumes or revenue. The profitability of the £1bn investment has been accessed by comparing the cost of capital of the project at the time of inception with the actual return achieved from business subsequently won (post '93). The third £400m investment phase in the 2010's is required in order to sustain the operation of the FPS for the longer term for both existing and new customers.
The analysis has shown that the return associated with the £1bn investment (including an equivalent notional return from BP equity business) has yet to meet the cost of capital. A return on the £400m investment is built into the standard tariff which will be payable by new customers from 2014 onwards. In both cases the revenue required to meet the cost of capital has been assumed to be shared equally amongst all past and/or expected future barrels, as appropriate. The ability to meet the cost of capital over the full life of the system may be inhibited by the ability to manage future risks such as:
- Safety & Integrity
- Environmental Legislation
- Rising Costs
- Reducing Throughputs
These factors remain as significant risks for BP.
Future Operating and Capital Costs
BP continues to invest significant sums in FPS to maintain availability and integrity. The future operating and capital cost components have been estimated to evaluate the future cost of operating the system up to 2020 and then have been averaged across all forecast barrels.
In a similar manner, the total cost of decommissioning the FPS System has been shared equally amongst all past and expected future barrels. In the event that additional treatment is required (e.g. if fluids do not meet standard specification) the transportation tariff shall be amended accordingly to reflect the cost of providing such additional services.
BP's Operating Cost Option
The Standard Form FPS TPA contains an option for BP to switch Shippers from a tariff-based charge to a cost share based charge commencing at any time after 1st October 2015. BP appreciates that potential new entrants to FPS would like to understand if and when BP is likely to exercise this option and we therefore offer the following information as a guide to our decision-making process. Please note that the actual date we exercise the option may be earlier or later than the dates indicated below. The predominant factor which will influence BP's decision for onset of cost-share in FPS is system throughput. We have therefore looked at different throughput scenarios which give a range of dates. Our downside throughput scenario gives a likely date of 2020 for onset of cost-share for new customers paying the 2014 standard tariff. This is based on expected throughput from currently contracted fields only and uses the profile forecasts provided to us by Shippers. Our upside throughput scenario gives a likely date of 2025 for onset of cost-share. This is based on the assumption that FPS will transport a similar proportion of total UKCS production in the future as it has over the past ten years (but excluding Buzzard), and our view of future UKCS production assumes a long-term oil price of $75/bbl.