OIL giant BP said the story of North Sea oil still has a long way to run after the company got the go-ahead for a major £4.5bn project.
The second phase of the giant Clair field, west of the Shetland Islands, forms part of £10bn being spent on four projects by BP and its partners from Shell, ConocoPhillips and Chevron over the next five years.
At £4bn, BP’s involvement represents the highest level of annual investment the company has made in the UK North Sea.
BP chief executive Bob Dudley said: “Although it began more than 40 years ago, the story of the North Sea oil industry has a long way yet to run.
“BP has produced some five billion barrels of oil and gas equivalent so far from the region and we believe we have the potential for more than three billion more.”
At their peak, it is expected that the projects will provide 3,000 UK oil and gas supply jobs and play a part in sustaining the 3,500 jobs already existing in BP’s North Sea operations.
Prime Minister David Cameron said the Clair Ridge project, which received the go-ahead from the Government, would provide “a massive boost for jobs and growth“.
Earlier this year, BP and its partners announced plans for the £3bn redevelopment of the Schiehallion and Loyal fields, west of Shetland, and the £700m development of the Kinnoull field in the central North Sea.
Alongside development drilling and a number of smaller schemes, the four projects represent almost £10bn of new project investment by BP and its partners into the UK continental shelf over the next five years.