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UK Approves BP’s Plan To Develop New North Sea Field

BP has received the approval of the UK’s Oil and Gas Authority (OGA) to proceed with the development of the Vorlich field in the North Sea—a project that is expected to produce 20,000 barrels of oil equivalent a day (boed) at its peak.

The project is part of BP’s program to develop satellite fields through existing hubs, the UK supermajor said on Thursday.

The Vorlich development, which is looking at resources of 30 million barrels of oil equivalent, will cost US$263 million (200 million British pounds) to tap and is part of BP’s plan for North Sea subsea tie-back developments aimed at exploiting new production from fields close to established producing infrastructure.

Vorlich—expected to come online in 2020—will be a two-well development located 241 kilometers (150 miles) east of Aberdeen, and will be tied back to the Ithaca Energy-operated FPF-1 floating production facility at the centre of Greater Stella Area production hub.  

“Without compromising safety, we want to simplify our processes, reduce costs and improve project cycle time to increase the competitiveness of our North Sea business. This is increasingly important as competition for global investment funds gets stiffer,” BP North Sea Regional President Ariel Flores said.

In April, BP said that it aims to develop Vorlich and Alligin—two satellite fields located near existing infrastructure.

Although BP is adding assets in the U.S. shale patch, it continues to look for cheaper ways to add new production in its own backyard and priority area, the North Sea.

Two months ago, BP said that it would buy world-class unconventional assets from BHP in the Permian, the Eagle Ford, and the Haynesville basins for US$10.5 billion in BP’s biggest acquisition since 1999.

In the North Sea, BP has recently developed and redeveloped two major fields—the company started production at the redeveloped Quad 204 project west of Shetland last year, with 130,000 bpd production, and is on track for first oil at the Clair Ridge development later this year.

By Tsvetana Paraskova for Oilprice.com

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