Energy giant BP to invest £671 mn in North Sea's ETAP oil and gas fields

Energy giant BP is investing £671 milllion in the ETAP oil and gas fields in the North Sea which will secure the future of the project until 2030 and beyond.

The decision would deliver a £1 billion boost to the troubled industry, which is shedding jobs by the thousands. (See: Shell to end North Sea oil production).

The huge boost would include additional accommodation allowing the operators to increase on-site personnel from 117 to 143.

The Eastern Trough Area Project, an integrated development of nine oil and gas reservoirs, comprises six fields operated by BP and three operated by Shell.

BP North Sea president Trevor Garlick said, ''These are challenging times for the industry and we are having to make hard choices.

Nonetheless, we remain committed to improving the competitiveness of the North Sea and to maximising economic recovery from our fields.

''BP's primary areas of focus are the west of Shetland and central North Sea, where we are investing in both new developments such as Clair Ridge and Quad204, and in extending the life of our mature assets.

''Two weeks ago we welcomed the arrival of the Safe Caledonia flotel into the ETAP area launching the start of a major investment programme to renew the platform and extend its field life.

Industry body Oil and Gas UK's chief executive Deirdre Michie said, "It is encouraging to see the continuing investment BP is making in its North Sea assets and projects to deliver a secure indigenous supply of energy for the country, BBC reported.

"Given the harsh business environment upstream oil and gas companies currently face, with the oil price more than halved since this time last year, industry as a whole is putting a great deal of effort into improving the performance of its assets - and that is something we'll look to explore in further detail in our 2015 Economic Report next month."