The oil company behind plans to pipe natural gas to Sullom Voe from the Glenlivet field west of Shetland has begun drilling for oil in the nearby Tornado prospect.
Aberdeen-based Faroe Petroleum, an independent firm which focuses on exploration and appraisal of fields in the Atlantic, North Sea and Norway, is behind the discovery around 130 kilometres west of the isles.
The Tornado prospect lies in 1,100 metres of water adjacent to the undeveloped BP-operated Suilven field and within tie-back distance of the producing Schiehallion field.
The discovery is likely to provide a further boost for the Sullom Voe Terminal. Faroe Petroleum is already hoping to pipe gas from Glenlivet to Shetland within the next five years.
Faroe Petroleumm chief executive Graham Stewart said: “We are very pleased to announce the start of the drilling operations on the Tornado prospect.
“Tornado is the second well to be drilled in the firm five-well Atlantic Margin exploration drilling programme which Faroe is undertaking, and follows on from our very recent Glenlivet discovery, which is currently being appraised with a side-track well.
“Following Tornado, we are scheduled to drill three further high impact exploration wells in the Atlantic margin, namely the Anne Marie oil prospect in the Faroes (operated by Eni), the Cardhu oil prospect in the UK (operated by BP) and the Lagavulin oil prospect in the UK (operated by Chevron).”