LONDON (Reuters) - BP has started production at the Clair Ridge oil field in the West of Shetlands region of the North Sea, targeting a peak output of 120,000 barrels per day, it said on Friday.
The Clair Ridge project is the second phase of the Clair field, located 75 km (47 miles) west of Shetlands. Royal Dutch Shell <RDSa.AS>, Chevron <CVX.N> and ConocoPhillips <CON.N> also hold stakes in the field.
In addition to two bridge-linked platforms, the Clair Ridge project included a new oil and gas pipeline tying it to the Clair export pipeline, which delivers oil to the onshore Sullom Voe terminal, BP said in a statement.
Clair was first discovered in 1977 and is one of a number of big developments in the West of Shetland area, where other oil companies are investing.
The new project is designed to recover 640 million barrels of oil.
Clair Ridge is BP's sixth major project start-up in 2018, after starting up seven in 2017. All these projects will boost the London-based company's output by 900,000 barrels of oil equivalent per day by 2021.
British Energy Minister Claire Perry said in a statement that Clair Ridge was vital for the country's energy security.
"Aided by the innovative use of technology developed in the UK and a strong UK-based supply chain worth £1.5 billion, this will allow the North Sea to continue to be a hub for the high-skilled, well-paid jobs at the centre of our modern Industrial Strategy."
(Reporting by Ron Bousso; Editing by Edmund Blair and Emelia Sithole-Matarise)