West of Shetland ‘hub’ could yield extra 300bcf of stranded gas, claims analyst

BP staff on the company’s key Foinaven asset, West of Shetland
BP staff on the company’s key Foinaven asset, West of Shetland

The west of Shetland region could host a “new northern hub” capable of yielding “300 billion cubic feet of stranded gas”, a Wood Mackenzie analyst has claimed.

Discussing the “under explored” North Sea area, Kevin Swann from Wood Mackenzie’s North Sea upstream team described west of Shetland as “the UK’s last area for genuine growth” and a “core area” for the big oil majors.

Mr Swann said he saw the area as a “bright spot” with its potential to increase production in the years leading up to 2030.

He said: “The majority of UK oil reserves for BP, Shell and Chevron are located West of Shetland, and four projects in the province will drive UK production growth through the 2020s – Clair Ridge, Clair South, Cambo and Rosebank.

“West of Shetland is also under explored, with less than 160 exploration wells drilled in the region to date. Other UK regions have had more than 500 wells drilled.”

Mr Swann said projects, such as Siccar Point’s Cambo development, will add infrastructure to the region, giving a new potential export route for any future discoveries.

He added: “Fractured basement is the big wildcard. With an estimated 2.8 billion barrels of oil equivalent of contingent resource in Hurricane Energy’s fractured basement portfolio, all eyes will be on the Lancaster early production system, which is due to start production early 2019.”

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