bp’s head of North Sea has praised the resilience and determination of the team in bringing a 30-million-barrel field online safely – despite the challenges of COVID-19.

Vorlich is the second North Sea fast-paced, high-return subsea tieback to come onstream in as many years, following the successful start-up of Alligin, west of Shetland, in 2019.

Emeka Emembolu said: “In just two short years, bp and our partner, Ithaca Energy, have pulled out all the stops to rapidly bring Vorlich online against a highly challenged backdrop. My sincere thanks and admiration go to all involved for overcoming many hurdles to reach this fantastic milestone.”

The field has been developed through two wells with peak production expected to reach 20,000 barrels oil equivalent gross per day. Vorlich hydrocarbons are processed through Ithaca’s FPF-1 floating production facility, located around 240 kilometres east of Aberdeen.

“This is bp’s new strategy at play and the latest chapter in our resilient hydrocarbons story  ̶  a great example of the fast-payback, high-return projects the company is focused on.” 

Emeka Emembolu, senior vice president, North Sea 

bp and partner Ithaca Energy invested £230 million to develop the field, which was discovered in 2014 and received regulatory approval for development in 2018. 

It is the third of five major bp projects expected to start up in 2020, contributing to the global target to deliver 900,000 barrels per day from major projects by the end of 2021.