AMEC starts work on Clair Ridge project

International engineering and project-management company AMEC said yesterday it had now begun conceptual engineering studies to test the potential for further development of the huge Clair field west of Shetland.

This Clair Ridge work is being led by AMEC in London and has resulted in 20 additional jobs in the city.

AMEC said the project was being executed under its recently signed global agreement with BP for offshore engineering and project-management services.

The scope of the Clair Ridge work includes both conceptual and front-end engineering and design work for a number of fixed-platform solutions being considered by BP and its partners.

Neil Bruce, chief operating officer of AMEC’s natural resources division, said: “The Clair Ridge project is important to the continued growth of BP’s global portfolio.

“The project is the most significant development on the UK continental shelf (UKCS) at this time.

“This award reflects BP’s confidence not only in AMEC’s technical competence, but also in our ability to support its continuing efforts to reach out into more challenging areas to expand production.”

Clair had been one of the largest remaining undeveloped reservoirs in the UKCS before production started in February 2005.

The first stage of development – costing £650million – has estimated recoverable reserves of 250million barrels of oil. However, a further 4.75billion barrels remain to be tapped.

Dave Blackwood, head of BP’s North Sea business based in Aberdeen, has previously said a second phase for the Clair Ridge area could target a further 250-300million barrels of oil.

A standalone platform could be used, but the BP boss did not expect it to come on stream before at least 2012.

Clair was discovered in 1977, but was not brought into production until 2005 because of a variety of factors, including complex geology.