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Energy / ‘Positive dialogue’ between oil operators but no decision yet on future of Clair export route

The Clair Ridge platform west of Shetland. Photo: BP

THERE has been “positive dialogue” between energy companies BP and EnQuest as discussions continue over whether oil from the Clair field west of Shetland will continue to be piped into Sullom Voe Terminal.

No decision has been made yet on the long-term export route, but it is expected to come this year.

Last year it was revealed that Clair operator BP was reviewing its options for exporting oil from the field, including stopping the current arrangement and bypassing Sullom Voe Terminal.

A warning was sounded that if that oil stream no longer came into the terminal then the facility could have to close as early as 2025.

The Clair field, located 75 kilometres to the northwest of the Shetland mainland, was discovered in 1977 but challenges with access and production meant its oil has only been exported – to Sullom Voe – since 2005.

Its second phase, Clair Ridge, came on stream in 2018.

While there is no decision yet on the long-term prospects of the Clair pipeline, field operator BP said there continues to be “positive dialogue” with terminal operator EnQuest.

“Oil from the Clair field has been exported to the Sullom Voe Terminal (SVT) since 2005 and as a result of ongoing investment, most notably the multi-billion-pound Clair Ridge development, production from the field is expected to continue for at least another 40 years, well beyond the current expected life of the terminal,” a BP spokesperson said.

“In order to safeguard oil export from the Clair field for the long-term, we approached SVT owners EnQuest seeking terms for long term competitive service.

“EnQuest and the Clair partners continue a productive dialogue to fully understand the offer.

“As a prudent, responsible operator, we and our Clair partners are also evaluating alternative technical options. No decision has yet been taken on the long-term export route.”