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BP receives approval to develop North Sea oilfield

The Alligin field is expected to come on stream in 2020.

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

The field, which lies 87 miles (140km) west of Shetland, is expected to produce 12,000 barrels gross of oil equivalent a day at peak.

BP has received approval from the Oil and Gas Authority (OGA) to proceed with the development, which is expected to come on stream 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, using the processing and export facilities of the Glen Lyon floating, production storage, offload (FPSO) vessel.

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.

“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.”

Alligin is operated by BP with Shell as a joint venture partner.

Brenda Wyllie, West of Shetland and Northern North Sea area manager at OGA, said: “The Oil and Gas Authority is pleased to consent to the development of the Alligin field.

“This fast-tracked project will maximise economic recovery through utilising capacity in the Glen Lyon FPSO and is a good example of the competitive advantage available to operators from the extensive infrastructure installed in the UKCS.”

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.

Environment groups have voiced concerns about the latest announcement.

Gina Hanrahan, head of policy at WWF Scotland said: “Just weeks after the world’s leading scientists warned us we need to increase our action to keep global temperature rises within 1.5 degrees, it’s galling to see North Sea oil production increase.

“Instead we need to see a just transition that enables us to harness the engineering skills currently deployed in the North Sea and apply them to supporting a range of cleaner forms of energy production.

“To reduce the risk of dangerous global climate change, the vast majority of known fossil fuel reserves need to be left in the ground unburned.”

Friends of the Earth Scotland Director Dr Richard Dixon said: “This approval of this new North Sea oilfield for development by BP is a reckless decision that is incompatible with efforts to tackle climate change. This oil needs to stay under the seabed.

“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.”

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