The development of a new oil and gas field in the North Sea has been approved by Energy Minister Charles Hendry.
Bacchus oil field is in the central North Sea and has estimated reserves of 18m barrels of oil. The field is operated by Apache with 70%, partnered by Shell UK with 20% and Endeavour Energy with 10% equity.
Mr Hendry, on a visit yesterday to Aberdeen and ExxonMobil’s Beryl oil platform in the North Sea, said: “The North Sea remains an important hub for investment and will continue to be at the heart of the UK’s energy security for years to come.
“This approval is in accordance with the UK’s stringent safety and environmental regimes in the North Sea, and shows that there are still plenty of opportunities for developments in UK waters.”
Apache North Sea Managing Director James House said: “These projects also demonstrate that the government’s incentives are encouraging development of smaller fields in the UK sector of the North Sea.”
Mr Hendry also announced record levels of interest in new developments in the North Sea. Some 356 blocks have been applied for in the latest licensing round, the largest number of blocks applied for since the first licensing round was launched in 1964.
Last week Energy Secretary Chris Huhne said that the Deepwater Horizon disaster in the Gulf of Mexico had been “devastating” and had given him “pause for thought”, but added he was confident that the UK’s regulatory regime was “in good shape to manage the risks of deep-water drilling”.