Oil major BP is to partner with Norwegian company Oldfjell Drilling and Baker Hughes to improve its production at the biggest oil field in the UK North Sea.
The Clair field was first identified way back in 1977, but the technology at the time was not adequate to feasibly deal with the challenging characteristics of the reservoir. It took until the new millennium for BP, the maker of Castrol metalworking fluids, and its partners to approve the first development.
When it started production, the Clair Ridge development was projected to produce 120,000 barrels per day (bpd) from targeted recoverable reserves of 640 million barrels, but it encountered production issues last year that reduced output by two thirds.
A steering group of representatives from the partners will be formed to jointly decide how they can most effectively direct drilling. They will also explore digital solutions and progressive remote operations models in order to lower carbon emissions and improve profitability.
According to BP, the new partnership has the goal of enhancing production:
“Across Clair, initially targeting a 15 percent increase in average annual production on Clair Ridge, the second phase development of the field. This will be achieved through drilling the best quality wells safely and more efficiently and harnessing the skills and expertise of each company in a single collaborative team.”
The crude oil situated in this part of the North Sea tends to be thicker and more difficult to extract, so new technologies and other innovations from the respective parties should help to ensure reliable production.