Scotland business

Unmanned Production Buoy signs China deal

Richard Selwa with model of UPB unmanned oil production platform
Image caption UPB has designed a floating platform for use in marginal fields

An Aberdeenshire firm has moved closer towards commercialising its unmanned oil platform concept, after signing a memorandum of understanding with a Chinese engineering contractor.

The deal will see Offshore Oil Engineering (Zuhai) Co manufacture technical components for Unmanned Production Buoy under license in China.

The 10-year agreement has an anticipated contract value of £2.5bn.

It was announced during a trade visit to China by Scotland's first minister.

The long-term plan involves state-controlled Offshore Oil Engineering making 100 platform shells and other components for Unmanned Production Buoy (UPB).

The shells will be transported to a Scottish fabrication yard for assembly and fit-out.

Last month, UPB announced it was pressing ahead with plans to build its first unmanned oil production platforms, after signing a memorandum of understanding with engineering consultancy Amec.

'Crucial step'

UPB's first planned project involves three unmanned platforms in the UK North Sea.

It is also looking to deploy the system in fields around Ireland and Denmark.

The floating platforms are designed for use in marginal fields.

Commenting on the latest development, UPB chairman and founder Richard Selwa said: "This is a crucial step in achieving our vision of mass manufacturing a high-quality, low-cost marginal field production system.

"This agreement with an international conglomerate operating throughout the world, alongside the recent memorandum of understanding signed with Amec, further demonstrates the rapid transition of UPB's vision from concept to delivery."

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