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Oil giant BP consolidates its interest in Clair field

BP HAS significantly increased its stake in the giant and geologically complex Clair oil field, 75 kilometres to the west of Shetland, after agreeing to swap assets with ConocoPhillips.

The oil giant said that after completion of the deal it would hold a 45.1 per cent interest in the seven billion barrel reservoir.

Clair came on stream in 2005 and currently pumps around 21,000 barrels of oil equivalent per day (boed) to Sullom Voe Terminal.

Production is expected to grow to as much as 120,000 boed once the new development phase Clair Ridge comes on stream later this year.

ConocoPhillips has agreed to sell a 16.5 per cent share in the field to BP, while BP has entered into an agreement to transfer its entire 39.2 per cent interest in the Greater Kuparuk Area, in Alaska, to ConocoPhillips.

BP said the deal would be cash neutral for both companies. ConocoPhillips will retain a 7.5 per cent share in the Clair field.

BP Upstream chief executive Bernard Looney said the company’s strategy was to focus its portfolio around key assets.

“Clair is a key advantaged oilfield for our North Sea business, a giant resource whose second phase is about to begin production and which holds great potential for future developments,” he said.

BP North Sea regional president Ariel Flores added: “This is a massive vote of confidence in the North Sea and further evidence of BP’s enduring commitment to the region.

“It signals our intent to look for opportunities around our core hubs in the west of Shetland and the central North Sea.

“The deal underpins our current positive momentum with our newest asset, the Glen Lyon FPSO, recently completing its ramp up to 130,000 barrels a day and first oil from our other west of Shetland mega project, Clair Ridge, just months away.

“The North Sea is a growth region for BP as we seek to double our daily production by 2020 when compared with 2014 production rates. With a growing production base and a rich hopper of opportunities, we look forward to maintaining a significant presence here for many years to come.”

Once the Glen Lyon FSPO is operational, oil from the Schiehallion field will directly be exported to Rotterdam.

As part of restructuring its North Sea interests, BP last year sold its operating stake in Sullom Voe Terminal to EnQuest, which also took over the Magnus field and associated infrastructure.

Last month BP confirmed that it was pulling out of the Integrated Aviation Consortium operating at Scatsta Airport, and is switching its aviation requirements for the area to Babcock based at Sumburgh.