BP Makes Significant Investment to Boost UK Gas Supplies

BP released plans for significant investment in its southern North Sea business, which will lead to an increase in recoverable gas reserves and create opportunities for further development offshore.

The Dimlington Onshore Compression & Terminals Integration project will see some 125 million ($250 million) invested in new gas compression facilities at the BP-operated terminal which receives gas from fields in the southern North Sea. This new equipment will reduce pipeline pressure between the offshore fields and the terminal allowing the gas fields to increase production. BP expects remaining recoverable reserves in West Sole and Amethyst fields to increase by around 30% as a result of this project.

The investment and new configuration will replace the existing facilities at the adjacent unmanned - Easington Terminal allowing this terminal to be closed and decommissioned. Easington currently receives gas from the West Sole, Hyde, Newsham and Hoton fields and passes it to neighboring Dimlington.

Commenting on the project Dave Blackwood, Director of North Sea business, said, at a time when developing new gas resources in the UK is a great challenge, with low gas prices and rising development costs, this innovative project will make a valuable contribution to boosting indigenous gas reserves, sustaining production and extending the life of existing UKCS infrastructure.

It is expected that the new configuration of the Dimlington Terminal will also prove attractive to other companies wishing to import gas through the terminal thus maximizing the potential of existing North Sea infrastructure.

An additional benefit of the new project will be a reduction in the already low level of nitrogen oxide (NOx) emissions at the terminal.

A planning application has been submitted to East Riding of Yorkshire Council and BP intends to consult widely with local community groups and other interested parties. If approved it is envisaged that the compression facilities will be in operation at Dimlington by late 2008 / early 2009.

The project is likely to create around 200 construction jobs.

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