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Caithness & North Sutherland

5 October 07

Exploration and production activity on the North West Continental Shelf (including the West Of Shetland and Faroese waters) has put Scrabster on the map as a recognised oil industry supply port. Scrabsterís location in the far North of Scotland offers a more cost effective base over distant east coast ports. The UKís most northern mainland port is only a six-hour truck journey from the main logistics centres of Aberdeen and Peterhead

Significant investment has already been made by Scrabster Harbour Trust in extending and upgrading the port. This already allows the largest offshore vessels to access the harbour. Furthermore, they can undertake this at any tide, and without delays that often occur at other ports.

The growth in oil related traffic to the port over the past three years is shown below:

Based on earlier infrastructure investment, the growing reputation of Scrabster and the growth potential for exploration and production activity on the Atlantic Frontier, Scrabster Harbour Trust consider the time is right for further port expansion. Details for a £15 million blueprint targeting growth servicing the offshore oil; gas and renewable sectors are set out below.

According to DTI, reserves West of Shetland represent 17 percent of the UKís remaining oil and gas resources. Developments in the area could entail

  • Investment of £4 billion
  • 15+ years of gas production satisfying 6% of UK demand
  • More than 30 new production wells
  • Some 800 km of new pipeline

While significant challenges exist for the commercial development of the Atlantic Frontier, the potential prospects in the Shetland-Faroes Basin remain strong Five fields are already in the production stage: Foinaven, Foinaven East, Loyal, Schiehallion and Clair. Appraisal activity has continued following Chevronís exciting sister Rosebank / Lochnagar discoveries with 500 million barrels of recoverable oil being speculated.

The following companies have scheduled further exploration activity for 2008 and 2009: Chevron ( Capercaillie), Eni (Anne Marie on the Faroe Shelf), BP (William Prospect on the Faroe Shelf) and Faroe Petroleum (Ravanna).

An overview of the proposed developments compared with the existing port infrastructure is shown below:


Existing Layout

Revised layout following proposed developments

A new deepwater quay and adjacent backup land within the portsí existing deep-water basin is planned to meet the growing demand from the Atlantic Frontier and the expected development of the Pentland Firth as a major tidal energy supplier. There are a range of options for development and a preliminary visualisation of the development is shown below:

The project would create a modern supply base and enable the port to offer the same range of supplies as found in the more distant east coast ports. In particular the development offers the following:

  • Increased deep water berthing (at 8 metres water depth). An additional 400m of quay would be created (at 8-9 metres at chart datum). The overall length of available deepwater quay at the port would increase to 730 metres. The supply basin would be capable of accommodating 6 vessels at any time.
  • Increased lay down areas, open storage and warehousing. Additional land will also be acquired by the Trust, at close proximity to the port, providing opportunities for further lay down areas, storage and fabrication areas.
  • Enhanced Heavy Lift capability
  • Capacity to deliver new services such as bulks and fuel. An improved supply of water is already available from new storage tanks installed in 2006. Water is available at rates up to 100 tonnes per hour. Supplies of water have increased by tenfold in 2006, a further 100% growth has been experienced in the first seven months of 2007.
  • Access to high quality responsive services, skills and project support

The works will enhance Scrabsterís ability to accommodate the increased demand from oil supply boat traffic and the marine logistics required to support development on the Atlantic Frontier and service the needs of the emerging renewable sector closer to home.

Service installations in the Atlantic Frontier can save in excess of 20 hours on a round trip by using Scrabster rather than the principal North East Ports. Scrabster already offers the oil sector significant competitive advantages and operating cost reduction through:

  • Faster deliveries of materials
  • Higher vessel utilisation
  • Reduced downtime

The new development further enhances Scrabsterís position as a more cost effective base over distant east coast ports.

A second development will see a seven-figure investment to modernise the existing oil tanker quay. The 130 meter long quay will be heightened and additional pier space created, ensuring that the new generation of oil tankers can continue to access Scrabster to deliver vital supplies. The trust expects the outline design and funding applications to be complete by the end of 2007. Subject to finalising the finance and grant package and obtaining statutory consents, construction will take place in 2008-09.

A preliminary visualisation of the development is shown below:

Unless this work is undertaken fuel supplies into the main fuel depot at Scrabster would have to revert to road at a potentially high environmental and delivery cost.

For further information, please contact:
Sandy Mackie, Trust Manager, Scrabster Harbour Trust
at the Harbour Offices, Scrabster, Caithness KW14 7UJ.

Telephone: 01847 892779 e-mail sandy@scrabster.co.uk

Web site www.scrabster.co.uk