UK oil giant BP and its co-partners in the £4.5bn ($6.9bn) Clair Ridge development have installed new jackets on the North Sea project’s offshore oil production platform.

Co-partners in the project include BP Exploration Operating, Britoil, ConocoPhillips UK, Chevron North Sea, Enterprise Oil, Shell Clair UK with 27.6215%, 0.98%, 24.0029%, 19.4225%, 18.6831%, and 9.2900% interests, respectively.

BP North Sea business regional president Trevor Garlick said, "The safe installation of the two jackets in to the sea bed is a fantastic achievement by the project team, and is a very visible sign of our commitment to maintaining a successful long term business in the UK."

Targeting part of the field to the north of Clair Phase 1, the second phase will include two new bridge-linked platforms and a new pipeline infrastructure to tie-up processing facilities on Shetland.

BP said the next major milestone is to install topsides in 2015, with expected production start-up in late 2016.

The field is expected to produce 120,000 barrels of oil per day at its peak and 640 million barrels of oil over a 40-year period.

Since its commissioning in 2005, the Clair field produced around 90 million barrels. The facilities developed in the first phase will continue to produce until 2028.