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Industry welcome for BP plan

BP’s £670m North Sea investment ‘encouraging’ says Michie

Deirdre MichieBP has provided a boost to the struggling North Sea by announcing it is to invest £670 million to extend the life of its assets in the region.

It will secure the future of its Eastern Trough Area Project fields for at least a further 15 years.

The announcement was welcomed by Deirdre Michie, chief executive of industry lobby group Oil & Gas UK.

“It is encouraging to see the continuing investment BP is making in its North Sea assets and projects to deliver a secure indigenous supply of energy for the country,” she said.

“Given the harsh business environment upstream oil and gas companies currently face, with the oil price more than halved since this time last year, industry as a whole is putting a great deal of effort into improving the performance of its assets – and that is something we’ll look to explore in further detail in our 2015 Economic Report next month.”

According to figures from the Department for Energy, the country’s primary demand for oil and gas, critical for Britain’s transport and heating and powering homes, is set to remain unchanged until 2030 at least.

BP regional president Trevor Garlick said the sector was facing challenges but that the company remained committed to improving competitiveness.

He said the main areas of focus were the west of Shetland and central North Sea where it is investing in both new developments such as Clair Ridge and Quad204, and in extending the life of its mature assets.

Mr Garlick said: “These are challenging times for the industry and we are having to make hard choices.

“Nonetheless, we remain committed to improving the competitiveness of the North Sea and to maximising economic recovery from our fields.”

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