BP keen on North Sea oil

May 18, 2012 at 6:38 AM

LONDON, May 18 (UPI) -- British energy company BP announced that it ordered four new support vessels for oil development strategies in the North Sea.

BP said the new vessels would be designed specifically for operations in the North Sea.

"This is a significant investment in BP's North Sea marine capability and will bring a number of business and local benefits from late 2013 onwards," Mark Hardi, logistics manager for BP's North Sea operations, said in a statement.

BP said the vessels will give it a number of safety and commercial benefits in the region. As much as 80 percent of the project and operating costs would be spent in the Scottish and Norwegian economies, BP added.

Regional President for BP Trevor Garlick said improving his company's ability to tap into North Sea oil reserves was "crucial to the region."

Each vessel would be designed with oil spill response capability. Oil leaked from Royal Dutch Shell's Gannet platform in the North Sea in August. The release totaled around 1,300 barrels of oil, making it the largest oil spill in the region in more than a decade.

BP, in its statement, didn't outline financial specifics about the platform support vessels.

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