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Clair Ridge milestone as production delayed

Hereema Thialf lifts the power generation module onto the quarters and utilities deck on one of the two platform jackets installed two years ago. Photo BP

BRITISH oil giant BP is celebrating the second important milestone for its new £4.5 billion Clair Ridge project that will pipe oil to Sullom Voe from 50 miles west of Shetland.

On Thursday the company announced they had completed the installation of one half of the topside infrastructure, placing it on one of the two massive platform jackets that were installed in the north Atlantic two years ago at a depth of 140 metres.

The three part operation involved lifting a 9,400 tonne ‘quarters and utilities deck’ directly onto the jacket. On top of that was placed the 4,550 tonne power generation module followed by the 2,210 tonne living quarters module.

The Clair Ridge power and accommodation modules being delivered on board Mighty Servant 3. Photo BP

The pre-constructed modules were all installed by the Heerema Thialf heavy lift vessel.

BP said 600 people were involved in the construction and hook up of the modules.

The company hopes to install the production and drilling modules next summer, with production expected to start in late 2017 – more than one year behind the original schedule.

BP’s North Sea regional president Trevor Garlick described the latest development as “a fantastic achievement by the project team”.

He added: “In a challenging time for the industry, this project shows the potential of our basin and why it is so important that we work to ensure a competitive future business.”

Clair Ridge contains more than seven billion barrels of oil equivalent, of which BP hopes to extract 640 million barrels of oil over the next 40 years. Peak production is expected to reach 120,000 barrels a day.

Reduced salinity water injection technology is being used for the first time in a large offshore platform to extract as much oil as possible.

BP is also using dual fuel power generators incorporating waste heat recovery systems to reduce the environmental impact.

Vapour recovery will also be used to capture and recycle low pressure gas for use as fuel or for exporting to shore.

The partners in the project are BP (27.6 per cent), ConocoPhillips (24 per cent), Chevron (19.4 per cent), Enterprise Oil (18.6 per cent), Shell (9.2 per cent), Britoil (1 per cent).

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