The phased discovery of oil and gas reserves in isolated pockets beneath the seas has led to an interesting network of interlinked offshore developments.

Oil and gas reserves which are many miles offshore have to be extracted, separated and transported to the shore. The planned development of the North Sea has made it possible to share facilities such as oil and gas pipelines, platform processing and export equipment and tanker loading facilities. Older declining fields possess facilities which can yield spare capacity for use in the development of new marginal fields and the capital cost savings make good sense. However, associated with this comes the disadvantages of interdependency of one field on the availability of another's facilities for production continuity. Business interruption evaluations become more complicated and the placing of insurance cover must take into account all possible incidents which can yield both short and long term losses.

This paper looks at some of the incidents which might lead up to periods of long term business interruption for typical North Sea main oil and/or gas gathering stations and interconnected ‘edge’ fields.

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