5.30pm update 31 December 2014
After UK financial markets closed today, city reports suggested that BP faces being drawn into the foreign exchange market-rigging scandal after it emerged that it has been investigating whether its traders were linked to the manipulation of the £3 trillion-a-day market.
The oil giant said it had carried out a review of its activities after global regulatory probes which resulted in six banks last month being fined £2.6 billion for rigging the market.
Details emerged after reports that members of a BP trading unit were told of planned currency trades hours before they happened.
Earlier today, BP confirmed it had started production from its Kinnoull field in the central North Sea – its seventh and final major upstream project start-up in 2014 – ending a difficult year for the industry on a high note as benchmark Brent crude prices slumped by 45% to end the year trading at around $60-barrel.
The Kinnoull reservoir, developed as part of a wider rejuvenation of the Andrew field area, is tied back to BP’s Andrew platform, about 150 milles off Aberdeen, and is expected to enable production there to be extended by a further decade.
Around 90% of the project’s investment occurred in the UK and at its peak the project created employment for over 1,000 people in the UK.
BP operates and has a 77.06% interest in Kinnoull, alongside co-venturer JX Nippon Exploration and Production (U.K.) Limited (22.94%). Andrew is operated by BP, with a 62.75% interest, with co-venturers JX Nippon (27.39%) and Talisman-Sinopec (9.86%)
In order to access the reservoir, a new subsea system has been installed, together with a 700 tonne topside processing module on the Andrew platform.
Production is now carried from the Kinnoull field to the Andrew platform via pipeline bundle – the longest such system in the world – for processing and onward export via the Forties pipeline system (oil) and the CATS pipeline system (gas).
The investment included extensive refurbishment of the Andrew platform to improve its integrity and operational efficiency.
Trevor Garlick, Regional President for BP’s North Sea business said: “Fifty years after BP was awarded the first licence in the North Sea, the successful start-up of Kinnoull demonstrates our continued commitment to maximising recovery from the basin.
“The combination of brownfield and greenfield development work – carrying out material upgrades, improving the reliability of existing facilities and retrofitting new facilities onto an existing platform – added significantly to the complexity of this project. In successfully delivering it, we have completed one of the most challenging offshore projects BP has undertaken in the North Sea.”
UK Energy Minister Matthew Hancock said: “The Kinnoull project is a great example of the continued commitment shown by the government and the offshore industry to make the most of the North Sea’s remaining resources. Working together we are maximising the potential of our domestic oil and gas reserves, securing both jobs and energy supplies.”