BP begins pumping oil from UK North Sea field

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BP has begun pumping oil from a redeveloped field in the United Kingdom’s North Sea, firing up its third major project this year, the company said Monday.

The British oil company’s North Sea project, dubbed Quad 204 west of the Scottish Shetland isles, will produce 130,000 barrels of oil a day at its height this year, tapping a resource of 405 million barrels over the next two decades.

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The company said it wants to double the amount of oil it can extract from the U.K. North Sea to 200,000 barrels a day by the end of the decade, an effort that would require drilling 50 wells in the region. The firm also expects to launch another major project in the North Sea next year.

BP CEO Bob Dudley called the project’s launch an important milestone because it marked a return to growth for the company in the North Sea, a region considered stagnant and on the verge of a permanent decline after decades of drilling.

The company is planning to bring another four major projects online this year, increasing its daily output by half a million barrels by the end of the year.

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