There has been a flurry of activity in the
North Sea oil sector, with BP hailing a "return to growth" in
its North Sea business, as the first barrels were pumped
following a $4.4bn upgrade to its Schiehallion field, while
Ineos announces a £1.1bn ($1.4bn) purchase of energy
BP, along with co-venturers Shell and
Siccar Point Energy, announce that production had begun at the
redeveloped Schiehallion Aree, and is expected to ramp up to
130,000 barrels by the end of 2017.
Schiehallion and the adjacent Loyal
fields, have been producing since the late 90s, with nearly
400m barrels pumped so far.
"With the fields’
redevelopment through the Quad 204 project, BP and co-venturers
expect to unlock a further estimated 450m barrels of resources,
extending the life of the fields out to 2035 and beyond," BP
Bob Dudley, chief executive at BP, said
"the start of production from Quad 204 - one of the largest
recent investments in the UK - is an important milestone for
BP, marking a return to growth for our North Sea business".
Drilling activity is a key driver of
demand for oilfield minerals, such as barite.
Flurry of activity
BP last year announced plans to double its
UK North Sea production to 200,000 barrels of oil a day,
announcing its intention to sustain business in the region for
"several decades," commitments it re-affirmed this week.
Production at the Claire Ridge site in the
West of Shetland area is expected to begin next year, with
reserves estimated at 640m barrels, sustaining production until
"Over the next 18 months, BP plans to
participate in up to five exploration wells in the UK, in
addition to drilling approximately 50 development wells over
the next 3-4 years," the oil company said this week.
And BP is not the only producer to see
opportunities in the North Sea energy sector.
On 24 May the chemical giant Ineos agreed
to buy Dong Energy’s portfolio of North Sea oil
and gas assets for some £1.1bn, as part of an ongoing
push into the petrochemical segment.
But just as some are trying to get into
the market, others are planning an exit.
A prospectus published by Aberdeen-based
Wood Group on 23 May showed the oilfield services company is
planning to sell off "the majority" of its Amec Foster
Wheeler’s North Sea oil and gas assets.
Wood is currently in the process of taking
over its rival, and the spinning out of the energy assets is
designed to ease this process.