LONDON, April 29 (Reuters) - BP said on Wednesday it started a seven-year deep water drilling campaign in the Loyal field in the UK North Sea as part of a $3 billion drive to develop the ageing oil and gas basin.
The redevelopment of the Loyal and adjacent Schiehallion fields, known as Quad 204, seeks to tap into an estimated additional 450 million barrels of oil equivalent to help extend production from the fields to 2035, BP said.
The development involves the installation of a new floating, production, storage and offloading vessel, the Glen Lyon, which is due to arrive in the North Sea in 2016. It will be able to export up to 130,000 barrels of oil a day and store up to 1 million barrels.
Production is expected to start in the fourth quarter of 2016, a company spokesman said.
New subsea pipelines are expected to be installed this year, BP said.
The two fields, located around 100 miles west of the Shetlan islands, produced nearly 400 million barrels of oil since production started in 1998, BP said.
The drilling in the Loyal field will be carried out by the Deepsea Aberdeen rig which is operated by Odfjell Drilling.
BP and rival Royal Dutch Shell each have a 50 percent interest in the Loyal field. Schiehallion is owned by BP, Shell and Austria's OMV.
(Reporting by Ron Bousso, additional reporting by Claire Milhench; editing by Jason Neely and David Evans)
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