BP knocks on Wood’s door for topside modifications in North Sea

UK-headquartered energy giant BP has hand-picked Wood, a compatriot player, for the delivery of topside modifications in support of the oil major’s latest subsea tie-back in the UK sector of the North Sea.

ETAP facility in the North Sea; Source: BP

Under the new two-year contract, Wood’s Operations business will deliver engineering, procurement, construction, and commissioning (EPCC) services to enhance the central processing facility of BP’s Eastern Trough Area Project (ETAP) production hub in the central North Sea.

The repurposing of existing equipment on ETAP will enable the platform’s connection to Murlach, a future tie-back to the ETAP CPF, which received government and regulatory approval in September 2023. This two-well subsea tie-back development is expected to start production in 2025.

Steve Nicol, Executive President of Operations at Wood, commented: “Working with BP for over 30 years, this contract builds on our global relationship, and we are proud to support this important project on one of their critical North Sea assets.

“Wood will deliver this under our multi-region engineering services contract, with our teams supporting efficient and safe delivery of asset repair, modifications and enhancements on ETAP to enable production from Murlach.”

This contract follows Wood’s delivery of pre-FEED and FEED work on the Murlach field, and the recent completion of brownfield scopes on BP’s Seagull field, another subsea tie-back to ETAP that began production in 2023. The Murlach project will be delivered by the UK player’s teams in Aberdeen, where over 300 employees support BP contracts.

The ETAP hub, which came online in July 1998, was initially estimated to have a production life of 20-25 years, with decommissioning predicted to begin in 2023. A $1 billion investment in 2015 secured its future into the 2030s. BP operates all the ETAP fields – Machar, Madoes, Mirren, Monan, Marnock, Mungo, and Seagull –  which produce through the ETAP CPF.

A few days ago, Wood was hired by HD Hyundai Heavy Industries (HHI) for detailed engineering of the topsides facilities on a floating production unit (FPU) destined for Woodside’s deepwater oil project in the Perdido basin in the Gulf of Mexico, located 30 km south of the Mexico-U.S. maritime border.