Scotland business

New platform installed in North Sea

Montrose bridge linked platform Image copyright Repsol Sinopec Resources

Plans to breathe new life into a group of North Sea oilfields have been boosted after a 10,500-tonne platform was installed in the Montrose Area.

The bridge-linked platform (BLP) was connected to Montrose Alpha, one of the oldest platforms in the North Sea.

The move is part of a project that aims to unlock a further 100 million barrels of reserves from a number of fields.

The Montrose Area Redevelopment (MAR) is also expected to extend the life of the fields to beyond 2030.

Montrose includes the Montrose, Arbroath, Arkwright, Brechin, Wood, Godwin, Shaw and Cayley fields. They are located about 200km east of Aberdeen.

MAR seeks to modify and expand the existing Montrose Area infrastructure, including developing three new fields - Godwin, Cayley and Shaw.

The new BLP will provide additional process and plant support facilities.

The Godwin field has already been developed via an extended reach well from the Arbroath platform. The Cayley and Shaw fields are being developed as subsea tie-backs to the bridge-linked platform.

First production from the Shaw field is expected during the first quarter of 2017.

'Major step forward'

Operators Repsol Sinopec Resources UK said the installation of the BLP had been "safe and efficient".

Managing director Bill Dunnett said: "This is a major step forward for this project and a tangible demonstration of the long-term commitment of our shareholders - Repsol and Sinopec - and partner, Marubeni, to the UKCS (UK Continental Shelf).

"This is a completely new facility in our core infrastructure and will be a game-changer for this business.

"MAR adds significant production and maximises economic recovery from these historic assets."

Oil and Gas Authority chief executive Andy Samuel said: "The Oil and Gas Authority is very pleased to see this important milestone in the redevelopment of the Montrose Area, which adds new fields and significant reserves, and also maximises economic recovery and extends the life of the existing fields."

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