Oil giant BP has doubled its stake in the huge Culzean gas development as part of its £7 billion investment programme in the North Sea.
The purchase of an additional 16 per cent interest in the field, from JX Nippon, has lifted BP’s interest in Culzean – about 160 miles east of Aberdeen – to 32 per cent.
Operated by Maersk, Culzean – the biggest North Sea discovery in more than a decade – is expected to produce enough gas to meet 5 per cent of the UK’s total demand at peak production. Output from the field, estimated to contain up to 300 million barrels of oil equivalent, is set to begin in 2019 and continue into the 2030s. Production is forecast to peak at between 60,000 and 90,000 barrels a day in 2020-21.
Mark Thomas, BP’s regional president for the North Sea region, said: “We look forward to helping Maersk make this important central North Sea development a success.
“This is a challenging time for the industry and we must continue to work together to ensure that when developments like Culzean, or other projects such as BP’s Quad 204 and Clair Ridge, come online they can be run as efficiently as possible.”
He added: “BP has been focusing and refreshing its North Sea portfolio by bringing new fields into production, redeveloping and renewing existing producing facilities and divesting some of its more mature or less strategic assets. Our deepening in Culzean further demonstrates our commitment to supporting the development of another UK field for the future.”
BP last month posted a first-quarter loss of $583 million (407m) against profits of $2.6 billion a year earlier as it continued to suffer from sharply lower oil prices.