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BP ANNOUNCES MAJOR NORTH SEA DEVELOPMENT

 LONDON, May 10 /PRNewswire/ -- BP (NYSE: BP) and eight companies are drawing up proposals for the integrated development of a group of oil and gas discoveries in the central sector of the UK North Sea. The company said its plans had been given "significant impetus" by the changes to the North Sea tax regime announced in the UK Budget.
 The cluster of four major fields and five smaller, adjacent finds in the Eastern Trough Area, some 260 kilometers north-east of Aberdeen, is estimated to contain reserves of 650 million barrels of oil and gas equivalent, including 1.2 trillion cubic feet of gas.
 BP, with Shell, Esso, Agip, Hamilton, Murphy, Lasmo, Fina and Monument, expect shortly to agree a basis for joint development of most or all of the discoveries. Approval for what is now known as the Eastern Trough Area Project (ETAP) is envisaged early in 1995 and first production in 1998.
 The move follows a study of development options conducted by BP on behalf of the partners. The four main fields involved, which straddle seven blocks and part-blocks, are Marnock, Mungo and Machar, all operated by BP, and Heron, operated by Shell. The adjacent smaller discoveries include the BP-operated Monan and Medan fields.
 The 1.4 million pound study reviewed the technical feasibility of integration, the cost of facilities and a range of options for evacuating and processing the oil and gas.
 BP Exploration Chief Executive for Europe, Dr. Chris Gibson-Smith, said the study established the feasibility of a single processing and export platform on the Marnock field - with other fields tied back, either as small, unmanned process platforms or subsea developments.
 "This powerfully demonstrates the extent to which multi-field co-operation between companies can significantly reduce costs and increase field value," he added.
 BP said it and its partners would now advance discussions on the transportation and processing aspects of ETAP and expected to agree a basis for the overall development in the coming months.
 Dr. Gibson-Smith described BP's ETAP fields as early examples of new BP developments made more likely as a consequence of the Budget changes to Petroleum Revenue Tax.
 "We are also looking at a number of other projects where the tax changes will encourage development through a mix of enhanced field economics and improved cash flow from our North Sea operations overall," he said.
 -0- 5/10/93
 /NOTES TO EDITORS: Marnock lies in blocks 22/24a and 22/24b; Machar is in block 23/26a; Mungo is in blocks 23/16a and 22/20; Monan is in block 22/20; Medan is in block 23/22a and Heron is in blocks 22/29 and 22/30a./
 /CONTACT: Ian Fowler of BP America, 216-586-4976/
 (BP)


CO: BP ST: Ohio IN: OIL SU: DSC

BM -- CL017 -- 6503 05/10/93 12:32 EDT
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Publication:PR Newswire
Date:May 10, 1993
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