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BP share price: Group starts oil production from major North Sea project

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BP (LON:BP) and its co-venturers Shell (LON:RDSA), Chevron and ConocoPhillips have started up production from the giant Clair Ridge project in the West of Shetland region, the UK oil major has said. The Telegraph noted in its coverage of the news that it is believed that the area could become the UK’s most productive oil site.

BP’s share price has climbed marginally higher in London in today’s session, having gained 0.51 percent to 527.90p as of 08:45 GMT, marginally outperforming the broader UK market, with the benchmark FTSE 100 index currently standing 0.32 percent higher at 6,982.50 points. The group’s shares have added a little more than five percent to their value over the past year, as compared with a near six-percent dip in the Footsie.

North Sea development

BP announced first oil production at the Clair Ridge project today, noting that the development was its sixth new upstream project to come on stream this year. The company said that the project marked  the second phase of development of the Clair field, 75 kilometres West of Shetland, which was discovered in 1977.  The company further noted that the project has been designed to recover an estimated 640 million barrels of oil with production expected to ramp up to a peak at plateau level of 120,000 barrels of oil per day.

“The start-up of Clair Ridge is a culmination of decades of persistence,” Bernard Looney, BP chief executive Upstream, commented in the statement, adding that the project was one of the group’s largest recent investments in the UK.

Analysts on BP

JPMorgan Chase & Co reiterated its ‘overweight’ rating on BP yesterday, with a price target of 650p on the shares, while earlier this week, Raymond James lifted its stance on the stock to ‘outperform,’ without specifying a valuation. According to MarketBeat, the blue-chip oil major currently boasts a consensus ‘buy’ rating and an average price target of 635.71p.

As of 08:58 GMT, Friday, 23 November, BP plc share price is 527.90p.

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