Billion pound North Sea oil field project given government approval

Oil Investment: North-east warned over status as UK's oil hub.
Development: The £1bn project has been given the go-ahead.© iStockphoto

A £1bn project to develop two oil fields in the North Sea, led by Aberdeen-based Dana Petroleum, has been given the go-ahead.

On Monday the department of energy and climate change approved the Western Isles project which will develop two at Harris and Barra in the Northern North Sea, 100 miles east of Shetland and eight miles west of the Tern field.

The Harris and Barra fields are estimated to contain more than 45m barrels of oil.

When the nine-well development launches in 2015 it is expected to produce more than 40,000 barrels each year.

Dr Marcus Richards, Dana’s Group chief executive, said: “The Western Isles project is at the heart of our growth strategy. Unlocking the potential of these new fields is a significant milestone as we aim to double our production to 100,000 barrels a day by 2016.

“We welcome the announcements by the Treasury this year to support oil and gas companies operating in the North Sea. This will help create a brighter future for the industry.”

John Hayes, UK minister of state for energy and climate change said: “I am delighted to announce the go-ahead for this project which will bring new jobs and create new opportunities for UK companies to compete for key parts of the work.

“Dana Petroleum has really demonstrated its commitment to the North Sea and in doing so is playing its part in helping to secure the UK’s future energy needs.”

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