Positive future predicted for Sullom Voe after flurry of concern

by Tom Morton -

'Much better understanding' between BP and Shetland Islands Council

The news, breaking at the end of October, that BP would bypass Shetland’s Sullom Voe Terminal and send oil from their refurbished Schiehallion Field direct to Rotterdam by tanker caused much hand-wringing in the isles, from the top of Shetland islands Council down to the worried workers at SVT. Was this the first sign of the terminal’s rundown and demise, given the problems being caused to the industry by low oil prices? How would this affect the Council’s income from tanker charges for using the terminal harbour, which it owns.

However, by 18 November SIC infrastructure boss Maggie Sandison and convener Malcolm Bell had met with BP in London and the news was good. The ‘projected life’ of the terminal was now 2050 and ‘wholly positive’ discussions with BP committed to the isles long term.

Tanker charges are likely to increase, but there was now “a much better understanding between BP and the council, according to Mrs Sandison.

Shetland Times report here:

http://www.shetlandtimes.co.uk/2015/11/17/long-life-predicted-for-sullom-voe-terminal

A week later a meeting of the Council’s Ports and Harbour’s Board heard that tanker fees were being increased by up to 83 per cent, but that projected income from the Sella Ness operation could be up to £7.5 million. However, delays and low oil and gas prices meant that anticipated income from Total’s new gas plant would be lower than expected, at around £250,000.

Shetland News report here:

http://www.shetnews.co.uk/news/11797-fewer-tankers-pay-more-to-use-sullom-voe

Other news during November tended to centre on the weather - though ‘Storm Abigail’ did not cause as much disruption as at first anticipated - and the continuing effects on North Sea activity of low oil prices. While there were continuing challenges to the viability of various North Sea and West of Shetland fields and businesses, there were clear indications that long-term development was still firmly on the agenda.

And at the end of November, the liner Gemini left Scalloway Harbour after a stay of 12 months. It had housed 400 workers on the Shetland Gas Plant.

Shetland News story here:

http://www.shetnews.co.uk/news/11832-gemini-departs-village-after-year-long-stay

Posted in: Oil and Gas