British oil major BP is planning to $1bn to extend the life of its North Sea fields located off the eastern coast of Scotland.


The decision to invest in the eastern trough area project (Etap) and extend the operational life of the fields to 2030 and beyond comes as the company seeks to benefit in UK North Sea assets where other oil firms are considering exiting their assets.

Located 240km east of Aberdeen, in the Central North Sea, the Etap has nine different reservoirs spread across 35km.

The BP operates six fields while Royal Dutch Shell operates the remaining three fields.

BP North Sea regional president Trevor Garlick said: "ETAP holds significant potential and we are working to ensure its reliability, efficiency and long-term competitiveness.

"BP’s primary areas of focus are the west of Shetland and central North Sea, where we are investing in both new developments such as Clair Ridge and Quad204, and in extending the life of our mature assets."

The decision also comes as result of the investment allowance availability launched earlier this year by the government to support investment in assets in North Sea, reported Herald Scotland.

Commenting on the investment, trade body Oil & Gas UK CEO Deirdre Michie said: "It is encouraging to see the continuing investment BP is making in its North Sea assets and projects to deliver a secure indigenous supply of energy for the country."

"Given the harsh business environment upstream oil and gas companies currently face, with the oil price more than halved since this time last year, industry as a whole is putting a great deal of effort into improving the performance of its assets – and that is something we’ll look to explore in further detail in our 2015 Economic Report next month."

Image: BP’s Andrew platform located in North Sea. Photo: courtesy of BP p.l.c.