New BP fields illustrate new model for offshore development

by Tom Morton -

The offshore oil industry has received a shot in the arm with BP's announcement that it will develop two new oilfields, Alligin west of Shetland and Vorlich in the central North Sea. Together they are expected to produce 30,000 barrels of oil a day at peak production, and have a total value of £450m. The two fields contain about 50 million barrels of crude. Aberdeen-based firm Subsea 7 has already been awarded a major contract for work on Alligin.

Alligin and Vorlich are what is known as satellite fields. The developments are significant indicators of a new approach to smaller reserves: collaborative developments with 'competitors' who offer infrastructure and support which can reduce costs and increase the pace of work.

Alligin, half-owned by Shell , will be tied back to BP’s Glen Lyon floating, production, storage and offloading (FPSO) vessel. Vorlich, will be connected to the Ithaca Energy-operated FPF-1 floating production facility which lies at the centre of Ithaca’s Greater Stella Area production hub. Ithaca has a 34 per cent stake.

Both fields are expected to come on stream in 2020.

BP confirmed that it has awarded a major contract for the Alligin development to Subsea 7, which will provide project management, engineering, procurement and construction services for the subsea pipelines. Subsea 7 will deliver the contract from its Aberdeen base, with offshore activities expected to get under way in 2019.

Speed and efficiency are key to the success of both developments.

BP North Sea Regional President Ariel Flores said: “BP is working hard to modernise and transform the way we work and a key focus of this is maintaining safety while optimising the pace at which we deliver activity. Through our Alligin and Vorlich developments we are simplifying and accelerating the stages of delivery to improve project cycle time, reduce costs and, importantly, add new production to our North Sea portfolio."

“These projects follow on from a period of record investment by BP in the North Sea which helped deliver our Quad 204 project last year and will deliver our Clair Ridge project which is planned to start-up later in 2018."

Subsea 7 has a history of using Lerwick Harbour for berthing and resupply of its vessels.

Speed and efficiency are key to the success of both developments

Posted in: Oil and Gas