‘This oil needs to stay under the seabed’: backlash to new BP oil field in North Sea

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BP has been granted approval to develop a new oil field in the North Sea, targeting the equivalent of 20 million barrels of oil.

The Alligin field lies 87 miles west of Shetland and is expected to produce 12,000 barrels a day at its peak.

The news comes a week after fracking resumed in Lancashire for the first time since it was linked to earthquakes in 2011.

British North Sea oil production saw its peak in the mid-1990s and was expected to fall to a third of that level by 2020.

No more business as usual

The news did not go down well with environmental campaigners who have been pushing for oil to be left unextracted in an effort to tackle climate change.

“This oil needs to stay under the seabed,” said Friends of the Earth Scotland director Dr Richard Dixon.

“The world cannot afford to burn even a fraction of the fossil fuels we already have, never mind approving the extraction of another 20 million barrels of oil.

He added: “The major warning from the IPCC report has shown we are long past the time for business as usual, fossil fuel firms should not be searching for and exploiting new reserves.”

‘Modernising’

BP received approval from the Oil and Gas Authority (OGA) to proceed with the development, which is expected to start producing in 2020.

Alligin forms part of the Greater Schiehallion Area and the new development will consist of two wells which will be tied back into the existing Schiehallion and Loyal subsea infrastructure.

BP North Sea regional president Ariel Flores said: “We announced our intention to develop Alligin in April and six months later we have achieved regulatory approval.

“Always maintaining our focus on safety, we are modernising and transforming how we work in the North Sea to fully realise the potential of our portfolio.

“Alligin is part of our advantaged oil story, rescuing stranded reserves and tying them back into existing infrastructure.

Second development

“Developments like this have shorter project cycles, allowing us to bring on new production quicker. These subsea tiebacks complement our major start-ups and underpin BP’s commitment to the North Sea.”

This is BP’s second North Sea development approval in the past two months. Vorlich, which targets 30 million barrels of oil equivalent, received regulatory approval in September.

Reporting by the Press Association

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One Response to “‘This oil needs to stay under the seabed’: backlash to new BP oil field in North Sea”

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