BP has lifted the lid on the layout of the Clair Ridge development which will be the second phase to tap the giant West of Shetland field

Described by BP as the “largest known hydrocarbon resource on the UKCS,” the Clair field spans 220 sq. km and the phase one development of the field which achieved first oil back in February 2005 via a fixed platform has paved the way for this second stage development.

After five years of production history, BP is embarking on a plan to exploit the Clair Ridge area, to the north-east of the phase one development, and aims to tap another 104 million cubic meters – 654 million barrels – of oil

Clair lies mainly in block 208/8, 55 km (34 miles) west of the Shetland Islands

“The new development will have a greater oil handling capacity than Clair Phase 1 and will be pre-equipped with facilities to support a number of subsea developments in other parts of the Clair field, should these be required in the future,”BP indicates in an environmental impact statement on the proposed new development.

Two new fixed steel platforms are proposed as part of the Clair Ridge project – one for drilling and production and a second for accommodation and utilities which will be bridge-linked. These facilities will have a maximum production capacity of 120,000 b/d of oil.

From this new field area oil will be exported  to the Sullom Voe terminal in Shetland via a new line to the existing Clair phase one export line to Shetland, and gas will go into WOSP – the West of Shetland Pipeline System.

Next year an eight-slot drilling template is due to be installed in the field area and later some of those wells are to be pre-drilled. In total up to 36 wells are planned for this second phase – 26 for production and ten water injectors.

Export pipelines are scheduled for installation in 2012, and the new platforms and subsea structures in 2013 and 2014, BP’s EIS indicates.

”Following hook-up and commissioning, the current BP schedule is for first oil in 2015, although the timing of activities may change during project development,” the operator states.

”In total, over 104 million cubic metres of oil are expected to be recovered over the forty year life of the platform."

Detailing the pipelines and subsea structures, BP indicates its intention to tie in oil and gas pipelines from the Clair Ridge drilling and production platform via a subsea isolation valve (SSIV) which is to be installed 200 metres (656 ft). From there, oil will flow to the Clair phase one SSIV Wye assembly via a new 6.5 km (4 miles). Gas from Clair Ridge will be tied into the WOSPS pipeline via a new 14 km (8.75 miles), connected at the Clair phase one WOSPS tee-point.