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Energy / BP to pause Clair South project

The project is the third phase of the Clair oil field west of Shetland

The Clair Ridge platform west of Shetland. Photo: BP

PROGRESS on the third phase of the Clair oil field to the west of Shetland has been put on hold due to the coronavirus pandemic.

The Clair South project, led by BP, has been postponed until 2022.

The second phase of the field, Clair Ridge, produced its first oil in 2018 and BP has been exploring its options for the third phase.

A small team will continue to work on plans to harness power from shore in the meantime.

BP has not yet made a final investment decision on Clair South.

Oil from the Clair field, which first began producing in 2005, runs into Sullom Voe Terminal through a pipeline.

The development comes as the oil and gas industry continues to be impacted by a low oil price and the coronavirus pandemic.

A recent industry report suggested 30,000 jobs could be lost in the next 12 to 18 months if the government does not step in to help.

Sullom Voe operator EnQuest is set to cut over 500 roles in its North Sea operations.

A spokesperson for BP said: “Like many of our peers, BP is adjusting its business activity globally in light of the social and economic effects of the global Covid-19 pandemic, announcing lower projected capital and operational expenditure in 2020 and 2021. In the North Sea this will affect some new project activity in 2020 and 2021.

“BP remains absolutely committed to the North Sea and we expect to revisit our growth projects when the economic conditions are more favourable. These are difficult decisions, but prudent for the long-term health of our business and the basin.

“We continue to work closely and collaboratively with industry stakeholders, the supply chain and our partners on competitive projects that contribute to a net zero future.”