BP Issues Guidance on Introducing Buzzard Crude to Forties Blend

BP, the operator of the Forties Pipeline System (FPS) offshore UK, recently released guidance predicting the effect that introducing oil from the Nexen-operated Buzzard field into the FPS would likely have on Forties Blend crude oil when Buzzard begins production.

Oil from the Buzzard field in the Central North Sea will be exported through the FPS, becoming a constituent of Forties Blend crude and affecting its hydrocarbon characteristics. Buzzard is expected to begin production late in 2006 and build up to peak production of approximately 210,000 barrels a day in 2007.

Initial assays on Buzzard crude made by Nexen indicate that the oil is a medium gravity, sour crude with an API of 32.6 degrees and whole crude sulfur level of 1.44% wt. Current Forties Blend crude (sampled in March 2005) has an API of 44.6 degrees and sulfur level of 0.20% wt.

As a result of the introduction of Buzzard crude into the FPS, it is expected that the API of Forties Blend crude in 2007 will be some 2.9 degrees lower than currently and 3.5 degrees lower in 2010, when it would be expected to have an API of approximately 41 degrees--similar to the gravity the Blend had in 1997. Over the same period to 2010, the sulfur level of Forties Blend would be expected to rise to around 0.56% wt.

Full details of a projected assay of Forties Blend in 2007, when it would be expected to contain approximately 23 percent Buzzard crude, and further information on the impact this would have on the properties of the Blend are available at www.bpcrudes.com.

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