Total has just announced the go-ahead for its Laggan and Tormore gas development west of Shetland, which it now estimates will cost nearly £2.5 billion.
The news came through early on Wednesday afternoon despite the company’s ongoing failure to clinch a deal with Shetland Islands Council to build its gas terminal on the local authority’s land at Sullom Voe.
Total said it expects to start construction work almost immediately both at Sullom Voe and offshore with first gas production planned for 2014. The project is still subject to UK government approval.
The twin fields have reserves the equivalent of around 230 million barrels of oil and at peak production the daily flow will be equivalent to 93,000 barrels of oil.
Total said its groundbreaking project was key to unlocking further oil and gas reserves west of Shetland, prompting an increase in exploration and development activity in the area for Total and the rest of the oil industry.
Exploration and production president Yves-Louis Darricarrère said: “In taking the decision to develop this complex project, Total confirms its commitment in pursuing its investments in the North Sea and its long-term objective towards helping to secure energy supplies for the United Kingdom.”
The company revealed that it has bought out the interests of Chevron and ENI UK to give it an 80 per cent stake in Laggan-Tormore. Its other partner is DONG.