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Clair oilfield
Clair oilfield is located in North Sea
Clair oilfield
Location of Clair oilfield
Country Scotland
Region Scottish Territorial Waters
Location West of Shetland
Block 206/7; 206/8; 206/9; 206/12; 206/15
Offshore/onshore offshore
Coordinates 60°45′N 2°24′W / 60.750°N 2.400°W / 60.750; -2.400Coordinates: 60°45′N 2°24′W / 60.750°N 2.400°W / 60.750; -2.400
Operator BP
Partners BP
Chevron Corporation
Royal Dutch Shell
Amerada Hess
Field history
Discovery 1977
Start of development 2001
Start of production 2005
Estimated oil in place 5,000 million barrels (~6.8×10^8 t)
Producing formations Devonian to Carboniferous continental sandstone

The Clair oilfield is an offshore oil field in Scottish territorial waters 75 kilometres (47 mi) west of Shetland in water depths of up to 140 metres (460 ft). It extends over an area of some 220 square kilometres (85 sq mi), covering five licence blocks.[1]


The Clair reservoir was discovered in 1977, with exploration well #206/8-1a penetrating a 568-metre (1,864 ft) oil column in a thick sequence of Devonian to Carboniferous continental sandstone. In the 1980s ten appraisal wells were drilled. This activity demonstrated that the structure extended to an area of some 400 square kilometres (150 sq mi) with static oil-in-place, although it failed to confirm the presence of economically recoverable reserves. Two further wells were drilled in 1991, two in 1992 and one in 1995. Two of these wells (206/8-8 and 206/8-9z) demonstrated the potential for commercial flow rates but were not produced for long enough to give confidence in long term reservoir deliverability.

In 1996 there was a breakthrough in the drilling and extended well testing (EWT) of well #206/8-10z. The EWT was followed by the side-tracking of an offset well into the pressure sink created by the EWT. The 1996 well test results set the scope for the 1997 drilling programme and triggered interest in a first phase of development. Two further wells were drilled in 1997 to appraise the 'Graben' and '3A' segments to reduce uncertainty in these areas adjacent to the core area.

In May 1997 it was agreed by the Clair partners to jointly develop the field. BP was appointed as the operator and programme coordinator. A development plan was approved in 2001, representing an investment of £650m by BP and its four partners in the project – ConocoPhilips, ChevronTexaco, Enterprise, and Amerada Hess. The production facilities were installed in 2004. The first stage of the development was inaugurated on 23 February 2005.[2]


The first phase of development targets the 'Core', 'Graben' and 'Horst' segments of the southern area of the reservoir, which have 1.75 billion barrels (278×10^6 m3), of which 250 million barrels (40×10^6 m3) can be recovered.[1][3] The development plan includes drilling of 15 producing wells, eight water injectors and one drill cuttings re-injection well. Plateau production is expected to be 60,000 bbl/d (9,500 m3/d) of oil and 20 million cubic feet per day (570×10^3 m3/d) of gas.

Noble Drilling and Wood subsidiary Mustang Engineering, part of the Wood Group, won the contract for Front-End Engineering Design (FEED). They proposed a single steel jacket with an integrated topsides deck with processing facilities, accommodation and a separate modular drilling rig. The steel jacket for Clair is located over the existing 206/8-10z well. The jacket is a four legged single steel structure with a height of approximately 165 metres (541 ft). At its base, the jacket measures 45 by 50 metres (148 by 164 ft), has a height of 169 metres (554 ft), and a total weight of 8,800 tons. Both jacket and topsides are designed for fabrication, transportation and installation as single fully integrated lifts (maximum 10,500t) that require access to the heaviest lift capability vessels on the installation market. BP awarded the contract for the fabrication of the platform jacket to Aker Verdal.[1]

The contract for the construction of the platform topsides was awarded to AMEC.[3] There are additional processing facilities for offshore power generation, water injection, produced water and cuttings re-injection, surplus gas disposal (export or re-injection) and flare gas recovery. Artificial lift is provided for all producing wells with the option of Electric Submersible Pumps (ESPs) for future well intervention. The operations will feature simultaneous drilling and coil tubing well intervention operations (SIMOPS). The topsides deck (including the flare boom) weighs 10,700 tonnes.[1]

The contract to build the accommodation modules was awarded to Leirvik Module Technology. The accommodation contract involves the fabrication of the living quarters and utility building which have a weight of 1000 tonnes. The contract for the drill rig fabrication contract was awarded to Heerema Hartlepool. The scope of the fabrication work incorporates fabrication of a Derrick Equipment Set (DES) module, with substructure and skid base and a Drilling Support Module (DSM). The work includes equipment installation and extended commissioning and the modules weigh approximately 2000t and 2400t respectively. The entire structure has a design life of 25 years.[1]

A further development phase, called 'Clair Ridge', aims to develop other areas of the field with further fixed platforms. The field contains an estimated 8 billion barrels of oil, with an estimated 120,000 barrels per day production at peak levels.[3]

In March 2013 BP announced that the partnership will begin a two-year appraisal program to explore a third phase of Clair field development.[4]


The Clair Partnership comprises four partners with the following fixed equity interests:

Crude Oil Quality[edit]

Oil produced from the Clair field is characterised as heavy (23.7 API), sweet (0.44% sulphur) and high-acid (TAN= 1.2 mgKOH/g).[6] At the Sullom Voe oil terminal, Clair is segregated from the other principal export grade, Brent Blend. Clair has a relatively lower value to most refiners than Brent being technically more difficult to process as a result of its high acidity and having a lower proportion of light cuts (naphtha, kerosene, diesel).[7]


  1. ^ a b c d e "Clair Field, Shetlands, United Kingdom". Offshore Technology. Net Resources International. Retrieved 2010-07-01.  The five license blocks were 206/7, 206/8, 206/9, 206/12 and 206/15.
  2. ^ "BP Clair Field Inauguration". OilVoice. 2005-02-23. Retrieved 2010-07-01. 
  3. ^ a b c "AMEC Appointed to BP Clair Ridge Project Under New BP Global Agreement". OilVoice. 2008-11-28. Retrieved 2010-07-01. 
  4. ^ BP Press Release 28 March 2013. Greater Clair Appraisal Programme Approved
  5. ^ Staff, offshoretechnology.com 22 December 2009 Shell and Hess Agree Strategic Asset Swap
  6. ^ Chevron Crude Oil Marketing Assay Information
  7. ^ Chevron Crude Oil Marketing Assay Information

See also[edit]

Original courtesy of Wikipedia: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Clair_oilfield — Please support Wikipedia.
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24 news items

The Times (subscription)

The Times (subscription)
Tue, 16 Sep 2014 14:14:32 -0700

The ownership of one of Scotland's most valuable oilfields is up for grabs after an American oil company put its stake up for sale. ConocoPhillips has appointed banks to find buyers for its 24 per cent share in the Clair oilfield west of Shetland ...
Tue, 19 Aug 2014 05:13:00 -0700

Recently a number of friends of mine have been telling me that the largest oil field in the world has been discovered encompassing BP Clair Ridge. They further tell me that the UK government has ordered BP to stay quiet about this until after the ...
Daily Mail
Thu, 09 Oct 2014 17:05:41 -0700

Just four deals were announced in the third quarter, although large packages continued to come to market including Conoco's 24 percent stake in the Clair oilfield. "Everyone is cutting costs, cutting capital expenditure, trying to sell down assets at ...

The Times (subscription)

The Times (subscription)
Tue, 16 Sep 2014 14:47:23 -0700

The sharp sell-off in British investment assets, sparked by fears that Scotland is poised to vote for independence, has continued, despite signs that the No campaign has started to win back ground. Britain came top of a fund managers' list of least ...
FT Alphaville (registration)
Mon, 15 Sep 2014 21:52:30 -0700

The Houston-based company has hired banks to sell its 24 per cent stake in the Clair oilfield, according to people familiar with the matter. The exact value of the stake could not be ascertained, but it could fetch between $2bn and $3bn. (Financial Times).

The Times (subscription)

The Times (subscription)
Tue, 16 Sep 2014 14:21:55 -0700

The Scottish government will collapse within a year if it tries to use the pound and renege on its share of the UK's national debt, a leading think-tank has warned. The country would be frozen out of global markets and barred from joining the European ...
Open Democracy
Mon, 01 Sep 2014 00:41:54 -0700

Recently, ever since David Cameron's furtive visit to Shetland, social media has been ablaze with rumours about the epic Clair oilfield and the riches it could untap. People are claiming this is McCrone II, a re-enactment of the time No10 hid the ...

The Guardian

The Guardian
Wed, 17 Sep 2014 10:15:33 -0700

A YouGov poll last week found 42% of voters in Scotland believe it is "probably true" that a bonanza find on the Clair oilfield is being concealed by BP until after polls close. "Of course they have downplayed the amount of oil we have left," said ...

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