BP and its partners, ConocoPhillips, Chevron and Shell, have announced they have installed platform jackets at the Clair Ridge project near the Shetland Islands, UK, which they are hailing as a major milestone in the project development.
Clair Ridge is a £4.5bn investment in the second phase of development on the Clair field.
The next major milestone is the installation of the topsides, which is scheduled in 2015, while production is expected to commence in late 2016.
The jackets are constructed from tubular steel members in a framework that provides stability to support the topsides loadings, while they are piled into the seabed.
BP North Sea business Regional President, Trevor Garlick, said: "The safe installation of the two jackets in to the sea bed is a fantastic achievement by the project team, and is a very visible sign of our commitment to maintaining a successful long term business in the UK."
The Clair field, which was originally discovered in 1977, is located 75km west of Shetland and extends across an area of 220km², in water depths of about 140m.
The Clair Ridge facilities will consist of two bridge-linked fixed steel jacket platforms and topsides, comprising a drilling and production (DP) platform and a quarters and utilities (QU) platform, as well as new pipeline infrastructure to connect to processing facilities on Shetland.
Peak production from Clair Ridge is expected to hit up to 120,000 barrels of oil per day and produce about 640m barrels of oil during 40 years.
Image: Model of the finished Clair Ridge platform.