Upgrade work to ready the terminal for prodiction from BP's Clair Ridge developments West of Shetland
Oil giant BP and its partners have announced a £300 million investment at the Sullom Voe terminal in Shetland which could keep the terminal open for another 30 years.
The five-year improvement programme will see an additional 200 contractors taken on to undertake the work, which includes plant and piping replacement.
The investment is being made to ready the terminal for oil production from fields west of Shetland.
The terminal, which BP runs, produced 9.2 million tonnes of oil last year from oil fields in the East Shetland basin through the Ninian and Brent pipelines operated by BP and TAQA Bratani respectively.
BP announced in 2011 it was ramping up development of its Clair field development in the Clair Ridge West of Shetland – the largest known oil field in UK waters – with a £4.5 billion second-phase investment.
Production from the Clair field is expected to begin in 2016 and is estimated to hold around seven billion barrels of oil equivalent, which BP estimates could bring 40 years of production capability.
BP currently has around 200 employees at the Sullom Voe terminal with a further 400 contractors on site running the power station, refurbishing oil tanks and maintaining jetties.
Plans for the site also include either building accommodation to house additional workers, hiring a floating accommodation barge or both to meet accommodation needs over a three-to-five-year period.
Terminal manager Arthur Spence said: "Given the scale of the work we are going to do on the plant here, and then the potential gas plant that's going to be built at the terminal, we could be talking about investment in excess of £300 million.
"We know we have a long and bright future - we have got to start planning for that now so we are going to conduct a major upgrade on the site over the next three to five years around the fabric maintenance of the facility."