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BP and GDF Suez Collaborate on New Oil Field Discovery

BP and GDF Suez Collaborate on New Oil Field Discovery

The discovery of a new oil field in the UK Central North Sea has been announced by oil companies BP and GDF Suez.

As the oil field borders on areas operated by both of the firms – and has been flow-tested to suggest that it could yield around 5,350 a day – they have agreed to collaborate and operate the area together.

However, that doesn’t mean that they have to name the region the same! BP has called the discovery Vorlich, while GDF Suez has named it Marconi.

GDF Suez employs more than 300 employees between London offices and those in Aberdeen. The company has also built more than 50 licences in the West of Scotland as well as in the Central and Southern North Sea.

Ruud Zoon, managing director for GDF Suez E&P UK, said that this was the third well his company has discovered so far this year. He explained that this demonstrates GDF Suez’s commitment to their exploration and drilling programme in the UK Continental Shelf (UKCS).

BP has its own investments and programme in the North Sea. They have pledged a £10 billion investment, £7 billion to be spent within the next five years.

“As BP marks its 50th year in the North Sea and the industry looks to maximise economic recovery from the basin, increasing exploration activity and finding new ways to collaborate will be critical to realising remaining potential,” said BP North Sea Regional President Trevor Garlick. “This discovery is a great example of both.”

News of the discovery has been welcome by Oil & Gas UK, the UK’s offshore regulatory body for the industry. Operations Director Oonagh Werngren said that it was heartening to see BP and GDF Suez collaborating when UKCS exploration has been facing severe cost and investment pressures.

Matthew Hancock, Business and Energy Minister for the UK, said that the government has set just the right regimes – both fiscal and regulatory – to economically get the maximum extraction of gas and oil from the North Sea.

“This discovery shows exactly what can be achieved in the North Sea,” Mr Hancock said, “if companies work together to maximise the considerable potential of remaining oil and gas reserves.”

The Scottish Energy Minister Fergus Ewing agrees, saying that the overall value of the industry could also be maximised through more exploration and effective collaboration. However, he added that it was important to prioritise the enforcement of fiscal and regulatory regimes, “and realising the opportunities for development of the vast remaining resources in the North Sea.”


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