The first gas has been flowing from the new Total Gas Plant, following delayed completion of the Laggan/Tormore West of Shetland project.
Described as a “key component” in the French energy company’s production growth, the development in 600 metres of water should see up to 90,000 barrels of oil equivalent per day.
But completing the £3.3 billion project has happened some 18 months behind schedule.
Council convener, Malcolm Bell, said today marked a “very significant” milestone in the history of oil and gas.
“Previous councils fought long and hard to ensure that gas was brought ashore, and brought ashore in Shetland.
“This is good news today. It’s significant for the UK economy, in that it reduces our need to rely on other countries, in particular in the Eastern Block, for gas.
“Also, for the Shetland economy, it’s going to provide both jobs and careers – both directly employed and in the service industry. It’s going to put money in peoples’ pockets to spend in the local economy.”
Isles MSP Tavish Scott said the project’s completion marked “an important first” for Total, Shetland and the wider UK economy.
“There is nothing but doom and gloom from some about the future of oil and gas. Yet the prospects for West of Shetland developments look positive. The French company Total are to be congratulated in bringing the huge Laggan/Tormore field on stream. That is good news for Sullom Voe, Shetland and the wider economy.”
“Sixty-five thousand jobs have gone in recent months from the industry. Shetland is not immune as BP make changes to their staff numbers at Sullom Voe. But I believe that oil and gas has a significant role to play in the Shetland, Scottish and UK economies for years to come. Total’s investment and their determination to bring this project forward is therefore a sign of much needed confidence at a particularly tough time for everyone who works in oil and gas.”
News of the completion was welcomed by the president of Total’s exploration & production, Arnaud Breuillac.
“Laggan-Tormore is a key component of our production growth in 2016 and beyond. The innovative subsea-to-shore development concept, the first of its kind in the United Kingdom, has no offshore surface infrastructure and benefits from both improved safety performance and lower costs.
“By opening up this new production hub in the deep offshore waters of the West of Shetland, Total is also boosting the United Kingdom’s production capacity and Europe’s energy security.”
The Laggan-Tormore development consists of a 140-kilometre tie-back of four subsea wells to the new onshore gas plant.
The plant has a capacity of 500 million standard cubic feet per day. Following treatment at the plant, the gas is exported to the mainland via a so-called Shetland Island Regional Gas Export System (Sirge), and the condensates are exported via the Sullom Voe Terminal.
• More to follow, with full coverage in this week’s Shetland Times.