The Cambo oilfield could be set for development after a $1.5billion takeover was agreed.
Ithaca Energy’s acquisition of Siccar Point Energy includes the controversial oilfield, along with Rosebank, which are both near Shetland.
Cambo has faced local and national protests from campaigners who claim the climate change impact would be devastating.
It has also been at the centre of a political row, with First Minister Nicola Sturgeon claiming it should not go ahead, while Prime Minister Boris Johnson has backed its development.
Ithaca said Cambo and Rosebank were two of the largest undeveloped and most strategically important discoveries in the North Sea.
It hopes Cambo will deliver up to 170 million barrels of oil during its 25-year operational life, which it claims will reduce the need to import more carbon intensive alternatives, increasing the UK’s energy independence.
Chief executive Alan Bruce said: “The development of the Cambo and Rosebank fields is a huge opportunity to not only help secure the UK’s energy future for at least another quarter of a century, but also to create thousands of direct and indirect jobs in the process.
“We are excited about the future for the enlarged Ithaca, the role we will play in the UKs energy supply, and look forward to welcoming our new colleagues from Siccar Point.”