The BP Magnus Enhanced Oil Recovery (EOR) project consisted of a gas pipeline from the West of Shetland (WoS) via Shetland to the Magnus offshore oil production platform located in the northern North Sea. By injecting WoS gas into the Magnus oil reservoir, more oil could be recovered, while the gas could now be brought to the market instead of disposed of underground. BP feared that the project could attract opposition as a pipeline to the west would open up the WoS area for further development.
The EIA that BP had commissioned was rejected by the law firm that the company had hired to ensure that it would stand up in court. The EIA described environmental sensitivities that were not fully understood and made promises that could not be kept.
Without an EOR project, the economics of the Magnus facilities would force it into early decommissioning and there was little time to safe the project. Without a rewrite of the EIA, there was a significant risk that BP would be taken to court and that the delays would make the project uneconomic. Shareholder confidence and company value would have been impacted.
It proofed possible to restructure the existing EIA within a short space of time, into a format that received the unreserved approval of the company’s lawyers. The Four-Quadrant EIA™ approach was adopted to proactively address all stakeholder concerns. The gaps in BP’s understanding of the local environment could be used as strength, the risk assessment was modernized and the promises that could not be kept were replaced with ones that could. The new EIA had 300 pages less than the original one.
The project was approved without legal challenge and shareholder confidence restored. The approval increased the economics of the Schiehallion, Foinaven and Magnus fields. It also aided the subsequent development of the Clair field.