Track the companies that matter to you. It's FREE! Click one of these fan favorites to get started: Apple; Google; Ford.

BP and Royal Dutch Shell Among £330 Million North Sea Consortium

LONDON -- Over £330 million is to be invested by the likes of BP  (LSE: BP  ) (NYSE: BP  ) and Royal Dutch Shell  (LSE: RDSB  ) (NYSE: RDS-B  ) in a drilling program focusing on a "monster" oil field to the west of Shetland.

The consortium -- which also includes ConocoPhillips and Chevron -- announced that drilling has already begun on the first of five wells planned over the next two years in the field at Clair. A further seven wells may be drilled if the appraisal program is successful.

With the giant North Sea field of Clair known to hold 8 billion barrels of oil, a third phase could take production beyond 2050 for the BP-led consortium, as BP North Sea regional president Trevor Garlick commented: "This is a major milestone and a further big commitment to the west of Shetland by BP and its co-venturers. If successful, the appraisal program could pave the way for a third phase of development at Clair -- this is now a real possibility."

The news comes as the U.K. government reveals a new strategy to aid the oil and gas exploration industry, to be unveiled by U.K. Business Secretary Vince Cable in Aberdeen -- the "oil capital of Europe" -- who stated:

"I want us to consider what barriers are stopping British companies bidding for and winning work in the North Sea. This is an expanding industry. We can either help create more jobs and opportunities across the U.K. if we get this right, or see work going overseas if not."

With around 400,000 people employed in oil and gas, the government hopes that further investment in the sector will help develop the U.K.'s supply chain, with new tax breaks announced over the last few years helping to repair the damage from huge rises in 2011.

If you are keen to learn more about potential winners in the small-cap exploration sector, the Motley Fool has published this free report to help you find them.

"How to Unearth Great Oil and Gas Shares" shows you how to evaluate an explorer's prospects and what to double-check before investing. The Fool's report also highlights an area of the oil and gas sector that could expand rapidly in the years to come.


Read/Post Comments (0) | Recommend This Article (1)

Comments from our Foolish Readers

Help us keep this a respectfully Foolish area! This is a place for our readers to discuss, debate, and learn more about the Foolish investing topic you read about above. Help us keep it clean and safe. If you believe a comment is abusive or otherwise violates our Fool's Rules, please report it via the Report this Comment Report this Comment icon found on every comment.

Be the first one to comment on this article.

Sponsored Links

Leaked: Apple's Next Smart Device
(Warning, it may shock you)
The secret is out... experts are predicting 458 million of these types of devices will be sold per year. 1 hyper-growth company stands to rake in maximum profit - and it's NOT Apple. Show me Apple's new smart gizmo!

DocumentId: 2337268, ~/Articles/ArticleHandler.aspx, 5/30/2015 8:57:23 AM

Report This Comment

Use this area to report a comment that you believe is in violation of the community guidelines. Our team will review the entry and take any appropriate action.

Sending report...

Apple's next smart device (warning, it may shock you

Apple recently recruited a secret-development "dream team" to guarantee its newest smart device was kept hidden from the public for as long as possible. But the secret is out. In fact, ABI Research predicts 485 million of this type of device will be sold per year. But one small company makes Apple's gadget possible. And its stock price has nearly unlimited room to run for early-in-the-know investors. To be one of them, and see Apple's newest smart gizmo, just click here!