Oil & Gas

16 Apr 2021

BP Halts Production at UK's Foinaven Crude Field

16 Apr 2021  by   
BP said today it has suspended production indefinitely at the Foinaven crude fields west of Shetland as it prepares for the removal of the ageing floating production, storage and offloading vessel (FPSO) serving the area.

The FPSO was commissioned in 1996 and in use at the fields since 1997, according to BP. It was designed for a production life of 25 years, but in March last year BP signed a new contract with the vessel's owner, Vancouver-based Teekay, to keep it in operation to 2025 at least.

"It has now been concluded that, due to its age and the demands of operating west of Shetland, even with material further investment the Petrojarl Foinaven is not the right vehicle to recover the remaining resources from the Foinaven fields," BP said.

It said that the UK's Health and Safety (HSE) raised a number of issued on the FPSOthis year.

"Recently the operating efficiency has been challenged, and maintenance demands given the age of the FPSO are likely to increase, leading to more frequent periods of downtime," BP told Argus.

The Foinaven area comprises the Foinaven and the Foinaven East fields, and production from the blocks averaged 11,300 b/d last year according to UK Oil and Gas Authority. In 2019, around half of the 10,000 b/d exported from the fields went to the Netherlands, 37pc to Norway and 17pc to France. The field produced over 100,000 b/d at its peak 20 years ago.

Both fields are currently shut for maintenance, and BP and the FPSO operator Altera Infrastructure will prepare for its removal, "while preserving subsea equipment for potential use."

BP said that it and the partners in the fields — RockRose Energy and Norwegian independent DNO — are looking at options for the remaining recoverable reserves.

"BP and the field partners have begun evaluating options to develop the estimated remaining resources of up to a possible 200mn bl from the Foinaven field and surrounding area in the safest, most efficient and sustainable way possible," the firm said. BP could not give a timescale on when the field would restart.

West of Shetland, BP also operates the Schiehallion fields through the FPSO Glen Lyon, and the Clair and Clair Ridge fields.

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