14:52 31 March 2013
BP together with giant companies Shell, ConocoPhillips and Chevron have confirmed that they will invest £330m in an appraisal drilling programme to test viability of a new development at the giant Clair field in the North Sea. This is one of the latest efforts aimed at transforming the Atlantic as an oil-producing region.
The companies confirmed that the drilling of at least five appraisal wells has already started on Thursday and this can last over the next two years. They also confirmed that depending on the initial results, the number of wells will be increased from five to 12.
The field, believed to hold about 8bn of barrel, was discovered in 1977. The first development was in 2005. So far, 90m barrels of oil has already been produced.
Edward Davey, the Energy secretary, told The Telegraph: “This announcement by BP of a two year appraisal programme for the Greater Clair area West of Shetland is excellent news. It shows the industry’s commitment to maximise the potential in this area, which could hold up to 17pc of our oil and gas reserves.
“Greater Clair proves there is still a long future for oil and gas production in the North Sea and will give confidence to new recruits that the industry offers a career for life.”
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