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North Sea

BP has been a leading operator in Scotland since the mid-1960s when North Sea oil and gas exploration and production began

What we do

In 1970, we discovered the giant Forties field, confirming the North Sea Region as a globally significant oil and gas province.


Aberdeen is home to the headquarters for BP’s North Sea upstream business, covering offshore operations and pipelines in Scotland. We are a significant employer in the Region and are proud of the work our people do to constantly push new frontiers.


Our activity set in the North Sea spans the entire industry life-cycle, from access and exploration, through resource appraise, drilling, commissioning, production and decommissioning. To date, we have invested more than £40 billion in the North Sea and produced over five billion barrels of oil and gas.


We are reaching the end of a historic investment programme which helped deliver our Quad 204 project last year and our Clair Ridge project in 2018. 


The brand new Glen Lyon floating production storage and offloading (FPSO) vessel is the centrepiece of the Quad 204 project which is targeting 450 million barrels of resource in the Schiehallion and Loyal fields West of Shetland.


Clair Ridge – also located West of Shetland – is the second phase development of the giant Clair field and has involved the construction and installation of two new bridge-linked platforms.


That is not all we have in the pipeline. We have a 32% interest in a third North Sea mega project, the Total-operated Culzean development. Due on stream in 2019, Culzean was the largest new field development sanctioned in the UK in 2015.


This activity, combined with continuing to improve production efficiency and reliability from our other core assets, will help us achieve our ambitious goal of doubling our North Sea production to 200,000 barrels a day by 2020.


Building our future

We have an exciting set of future investment and renewal opportunities with the potential to sustain a material UK business for decades to come.


Our intent is to maintain a healthy capital investment programme to sustain the production growth we will see over the next few years.


BP is exploring at significantly higher levels in the North Sea than in the recent past.


In 2017, we participated in six exploration wells in the UK, two of which were successful; Capercaillie in the central North Sea and Achmelvich west of Shetland. Our exploration programme continues in 2018 with our participation in a further two wells.


In 2018, we committed to two new field developments which, combined, are expected to produce 30,000 barrels gross of oil equivalent a day at peak production. The Alligin and Vorlich fields are due on stream in 2020. 


We also had a very successful result in the 30th Offshore Licensing Round announced by the Oil & Gas Authority in May – being awarded seven new licences, five as operator and a commitment to drill another new exploration well.


Looking ahead, we have a rich hopper of future opportunities across our portfolio, including a potential third phase of the Clair field.


Successful delivery of our plan should create the platform that enables us to develop our remaining barrels of resource and build our future in the North Sea.