Subject to project sanction, it is anticipated that the RDS team would continue through detailed design, increasing in number to about 40 engineers.

The Clair Ridge facility will be designed to accommodate at least 28 wells, with a subsea template for a number of pre-drilled wells subsequently tied back to the platform, and the remainder being drilled directly from the platform. Safety will be paramount in the design process to ensure the resulting facilities minimize risk to personnel. Similarly, substantial emphasis is being made to design Clair Ridge to minimize the impact on the natural environment. This will start during the earliest stages of design right through to the installation and commissioning of the facilities.

Hamish Ritchie, General Manager of RDS, said: “We are delighted to be selected as BP’s Drilling Facilities Design Contractor for the Clair Ridge Project. This award builds on the relationship developed with BP over the past ten years during the completion of five new rigs in the Caspian Region, followed by the recent award for engineering services for the Chirag Oil Project Platform Drilling Facilities.”

The Clair field is located about 75 kilometers west of The Shetland Isles in about 140 meters of water. It covers an area of 220 square kilometers.

Phase 1 of the Clair field development included the installation of the export pipeline system and the Clair Phase 1 platform which was installed in 2004 and achieved first oil in early 2005.

The next phase of the development, Clair Ridge, is targeting the elongated up-thrown part of the field to the north of Clair Phase 1.