BP is significantly increasing its holding in one of the North Sea’s biggest oilfields in a sign of continued confidence in the region.
The company is acquiring from ConocoPhillips a 16.5% interest in the BP-operated Clair field. It is also selling its non-operating interest in the Kuparuk and satellite oilfields in Alaska.
The transaction takes BPs stake in Clair field, west of Shetland, to 45.1% and leaves ConocoPhillips with a 7.5% interest.
Separately BP has entered into agreements to sell to ConocoPhillips BP’s entire 39.2% interest in the Greater Kuparuk Area on the North Slope of Alaska as well as BP’s holding in the Kuparuk Transportation Company.
Details of the transactions are not being disclosed but are expected to be cash neutral for BP and ConocoPhillips.
BP Upstream chief executive Bernard Looney, said: “This is a further step in focusing our portfolio around core assets and developments which have the potential for significant growth.
“Clair is a key advantaged oilfield for our North Sea business, a giant resource whose second phase is about to begin production and which holds great potential for future developments.
“In Alaska, this transaction will increase our focus on managing our deep resource base at the massive Prudhoe Bay oilfield and help enable a more competitive and sustainable business for BP.”
The giant Clair field west of Shetland, 47 miles (75 kilometres) west of Shetland, was discovered in 1977. The field had more than 7 billion barrels of hydrocarbons estimated originally in place but held in a highly complex and fractured reservoir. .
The field is operated by BP which currently holds a 28.6% interest. Production from Clair’s first phase of development began in 2005 and the field produced an average of 21,000 barrels of oil equivalent a day (boed) in 2017.
A major second development phase, Clair Ridge, is expected to start production later this year with production capacity of 120,000 boed. Appraisal has also identified potential for future stages of development of Clair.