Bressay Field Geology

Bressay is a populated island in the Shetland Islands of Scotland.

Geography and geology[edit]

Bressay lies due south of Whalsay, west of Noss, and north of Mousa. At 11 square miles (28 km2), it is the fifth largest island in Shetland. The population is around 360 people,[2] concentrated in the middle of the west coast, around Glebe and Fullaburn.

The island is made up of Old Red Sandstone with some basaltic intrusions. Bressay was quarried extensively for building materials, used all over Shetland, especially in nearby Lerwick.[3] There are a number of sea caves and arches. The largest of eleven lochs on the island are the Loch of Grimsetter in the east, and the Loch of Brough.

Wildlife[edit]

Bressay has a large number of migrant birds, especially in the east. The Loch of Grimsetter is a haven for waders and whooper swans. In the far south, there is a colony of Arctic skuas.[3]

History[edit]

The name of the island may have been recorded in 1263 as 'Breiðoy' (Old Norse "broad island"). In 1490 the island is referred to as "Brusoy" - "Brusi's island".[3]

The Bressay Stone is an outstanding example of Pictish art.

a slab of chloriteslate, about 16 inches wide at the top, tapering to less than a foot at the bottom.[5]

The slender sides are engraved with ogham, and the two faces with various examples of knotwork, and imagery. The top of each face has a cross. On one side, there is an engraving of two men with crosiers, as well as various animals including horses, pigs, and what appears to be someone in the process of being swallowed by two sea monsters. It has been suggested that this is Jonah.[5]

During World War I and II gun emplacements were built to guard Bressay Sound.

Infrastructure[edit]

Attractions on the island include Bressay Lighthouse. At Maryfield there is a heritage centre, a hotel and the old laird's mansion, Gardie House, built in 1724. The Northern Lights Spa Hotel at Uphouse is Britain's most northerly spa.[6][7]

Frequent car ferries sail from Maryfield to Lerwick on the Shetland Mainland. During the summer months, a passenger ferry service links the east coast of Bressay with the nature reserve island of Noss.

Lerwick and Bressay Parish Church (of the Church of Scotland) has three places of worship. The Bressay Church building is located close to the Marina, near the centre of the west coast of the island.

Gallery[edit]

  • Images of Bressay
  • Full-rigged ship Maella, of Oslo, in Bressay Sound circa 1922

  • The Pictish Bressay Stone

See also[edit]

External links[edit]

References[edit]

Wikimedia Commons has media related to Bressay.

Coordinates: 60°09′N1°05′W / 60.150°N 1.083°W / 60.150; -1.083

In late 2018 a thirty-year adventure will begin 250 kilometres off Scotland’s north-east coast. That’s when the first oil tanker will leave the Mariner field, bound for the world’s energy markets. It’s been a long journey. Mariner is a sleeping giant, discovered more than thirty years ago. 


But because of the oil’s extremely high viscosity, previous operators were not able to extract it. In 2007, we acquired the operatorship, and with the experience gained from working with other heavy oil fields, we managed to solve the challenges. The Mariner project will be one of Statoil’s most innovative developments ever.

Discovered in 1981 on the East Shetland Platform, approximately 150 kilometres east of the Shetland Islands, the Mariner field is a daunting prospect for oil and gas producers. Mariner is a heavy oil field characterised by dense, viscous oil.

In December 2012, Statoil and its partners decided to take on the challenge and made the investment decision for the Mariner project, which entails a gross investment of more than GBP 4.5 billion. This was the largest capital commitment to the UK Continental Shelf (UKCS) in more than a decade.

The concept chosen includes a production, drilling and quarters (PDQ) platform based on a steel jacket, Mariner A, with a floating storage unit (FSU), Mariner B. Drilling will be carried out from the Mariner A drilling rig, with a jack-up rig assisting for the first 4 years.


The Mariner oil field consists of two shallow reservoir sections: the deeper, Maureen formation at 1492 meters and the shallower Heimdal reservoir at 1227 meters. The oil is heavy with API gravities of 14.2 and 12.1 and viscosities at reservoir conditions of 67 cP and 508 cP, respectively for Maureen and Heimdal.  

The development of the Mariner field will contribute more than 250 mmbbls reserves with average plateau production of around 55,000 barrels per day. The field will provide a long term cash-flow over 30 years.  Production is expected to commence in 2018.

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