BP is sounding out the supply chain for advice on redeveloping the Foinaven field, west of Shetland, the firm’s North Sea boss said.
Ariel Flores, regional president, said BP was engaging early so that the company could “make decisions at the right time and in the right way”.
Foinaven came on stream in 1997 and is served by Teekay’s Petrojarl floating production, storage and offloading (FPSO) vessel, which has suffered a number of lengthy shutdowns in recent years.
Mr Flores said BP was “looking at a way forward” with Teekay to safely prolong production from the existing FPSO for as long as possible.
And BP believes Foinaven still has a “lot of potential” and can keep producing beyond cessation of production from Petrojarl.
The vessel could feasibly keep working until 2025, which gives BP time to work on options for a subsequent redevelopment of the field, Mr Flores said.
BP is keeping an open mind on the concept, with another floating production facility, albeit a more energy-efficient one, among the options.
Mr Flores said Teekay was involved in those conversations, along with other contractors and colleagues.
BP is also weighing up whether to keep exporting oil to the Sullom Voe Terminal (SVT) in Shetland from its giant Clair field.
Current SVT operator EnQuest, which took over the role from BP in December 2017, said in July that it would have to lay off 80 people by the end of 2019 in an effort to keep the facility competitive.
Mr Flores said SVT was still an option for BP and its partners on Clair, but that investment in simplifying the terminal was needed quickly.
He said other technical and commercial export alternatives were being considered.