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Upcoming Projects: BP Submits Draft Plans To Abandon Oil Platform

Posted on 17.02.2005 - 03:54 EST in UPCOMING PROJECTS by ginamc

BPOil giant BP is getting closer to the final decommissioning of the North West Hutton platform in the northern North Sea.

The installation, which produced its first oil in 1983, was shut down at the end of 2002. Since then, BP has spent £90million on abandoning the wells and cleaning up the topsides.

It has now submitted its draft decommissioning programme to the Government.

Scottish firms will be hoping to pick up a sizeable chunk of the work.

A spokesman for BP said yesterday this £70million project would involve several activities.

There are two pipelines, which the firm plans to leave in place but buried.

It is proposing that the 20,000-tonne steel topsides be removed to shore for recycling, along with the steel upper jacket which weighs around 10,000 tonnes.

The water depth is 143 metres and BP wants to leave the footings which reach 40 metres off the seabed.

There is also a drill-cuttings pile, which the company says would be left untouched as this would have less environmental impact than moving it.

The spokesman added: "We have done studies looking at the environmental and safety impact of the entire decommissioning.

"We think these proposals are the best solution."

The public now has 30 days to comment to BP on its plan.

Final decommissioning is not expected to start before 2006 at the earliest.

The work will go out to tender after the Government gives approval for BP's plans.

Meanwhile, BP said the trustee of its Employee Share Ownership Trust had paid over £3.2million to acquire 583,542 shares on behalf of five executive directors.

Chief executive Lord Browne received the largest award; shares worth £1.958million.

The trust then sold a proportion of these shares for just over £800,000 to meet his tax liabilities on the award of the shares.

It also sold a proportion of the shares awarded to directors David Allen, Iain Conn, Tony Hayward and John Manzoni to meet tax liabilities.

The awards were made under the company's long-term performance plan and executive directors' incentive plan.

BP said yesterday it had begun production from its Azeri field in the Caspian Sea off Azerbaijan, which it says will pump 35million barrels of crude oil this year at an average of 93,000 barrels per day (bpd).

BP leads an international group developing the Azeri-Chirag-Guneshli group of fields, which between them have estimated recoverable reserves of 5.4billion barrels of oil.

Chirag is already producing, and last year pumped 124,000bpd.

The deepwater Guneshli field is expected to come on stream in 2008.

Production from the three fields is to be ramped up to reach over a million bpd by 2009.

Source: The Press & Journal
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