BP confirmed it has started work on a long-mooted gas pipeline at the Sullom Voe terminal on Shetland.
The 0.8-mile ‘Shetland Crossover Pipeline’ will connect the existing gas sweetening facilities at Sullom Voe with the SIRGE pipeline, which effectively links the Shetland Gas Plant (SGP) and the St Fergus gas terminal in Aberdeenshire.
Having been sanctioned in September, BP said work on the new infrastructure has already begun.
In addition to creating an additional export route for gas from the Clair field, the pipeline is being sized to accommodate additional gas production from other offshore west of Shetland developments.
Proponents say the link will provide a more direct route to market for the region’s gas, including from the Clair field, and in turn support UK security of supply.
Previously, excess gas from Clair not used for power generation or oil lifting has been exported through a 10km spur line and sent to the Magnus field for use in enhanced oil recovery, or exported south from there.
Meanwhile, the 665 million cubic feet capacity SIRGE pipeline runs from the TotalEnergies-operated Shetland Gas Plant to a subsea tie-in on North Sea Midstream Partners’ (NSMP) FUKA pipeline, and on to St Fergus on the UK mainland.
In a statement to Energy Voice BP North Sea senior vice president Doris Reiter said: “We’re pleased to see work start on this important piece of energy infrastructure designed to help support UK security of supply and establish an additional export route for West of Shetland gas.”
Brenda Wyllie, West of Shetland and Northern North Sea area manager for the North Sea Transition Authority (NSTA) also welcomed the news.
“This pipeline will boost the UK’s energy security by providing an additional – and more direct – route to market for gas from the West of Shetland,” she said.
“The NSTA collaborated closely with industry to set out the case for this project and we are very pleased that it is being taken forward.”
The pipeline will be 100% owned by the Clair joint venture – which includes partners Shell, Harbour Energy and Chevron – and operated by BP.
Commercial discussions around new gas infrastructure have been ongoing on with Sullom Voe terminal operator EnQuest for a number of years, though there were fears of an alternate route that could bypass Shetland altogether.
In 2019 BP said it hoped to make a decision on the scheme in 2020, though no agreement was reached.
It last offered an update on the plans in summer 2022, at which stage the proposed link was to be built, owned and operated by SIRGE owner NSMP.
At that time, NSMP said it had submitted a planning application for installation for the pipeline and associated above ground facilities to Shetland Islands Council.
The company is now understood to have exited the project.