BP doubles stake in Culzean gas field
Oil giant BP has doubled its stake in a major gas field in the North Sea as part of a £7bn investment programme.
The company said it had raised its interest in the Maersk Oil-operated Culzean development from 16% to 32%.
It did not disclose how much it paid co-venturer JX Nippon for the additional stake.
The development, which lies about 145 miles east of Aberdeen, is one of the largest gas fields discovered in the North Sea in more than a decade.
The gas condensate field has resources estimated at 250-300 million barrels, according to BP.
Production is due to start in 2019 and continue into the 2030s, with plateau production of 60,000-90,000 barrels per day.
It is expected to produce enough gas to meet 5% of total UK demand when it reaches peak production in 2020-21.
Mark Thomas, from BP, said: "This is a challenging time for the industry and we must continue to work together to ensure that when developments like Culzean, or other projects such as BP's Quad 204 and Clair Ridge, come online they can be run as efficiently as possible."
He added: "BP has been focusing and refreshing its North Sea portfolio by bringing new fields into production, redeveloping and renewing existing producing facilities and divesting some of its more mature or less strategic assets.
"Our deepening in Culzean further demonstrates our commitment to supporting the development of another UK field for the future."
UK Energy Secretary Amber Rudd said: "With BP doubling investment in Culzean gas field, the opening of Total's new Shetland facility today and new powers for the Oil and Gas Authority through the UK government's Energy Bill becoming law, this has been a good week for our oil and gas industry."