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24Feb94 UK: SPECIAL REPORT ON SCOTLAND - FURTHER PROJECTS IN PIPELINE - ALLIANCES FOR BP IN OIL DEVELOPMENT.

Alliancing could be the means of unlocking another important BP discovery - a series of tiny fields called the Eastern Trough Area Project (ETAP). It is made up of four major fields: Marnock, Mungo, Machar and Heron, together with six smaller fields all sited to the south-east of the Forties field in the central area of the North Sea.BP believes the cluster of fields can be developed economically if the oil companies co-operate and treat the fields, which have reserves totalling 450 million barrels of oil and 12 trillion cu ft of gas, as a unified project.Directional drilling techniques mean the whole field can be reached from just three platforms - the main one in Marnock field with central processing facilities and two lightweight jackets at Heron and Machar.The oil would eventually be exported via BP's Forties field and the gas through a pipeline to St Fergus or Teesside.The oil company aims to have a sanctionable project by early 1995 with construction contracts placed that year.BP believes that alliancing agreements could slash ETAP's estimated £2 billion construction cost by 30 per cent over the next seven years. CONSTRUCTION NEWS