A $1.6 billion (£987m) project to develop two oil fields in the North Sea was given the green light by the Government today.
Led by Aberdeen-based Dana Petroleum, the Western Isles project is expected to produce more than 40,000 barrels of oil equivalent, adding more than 30,000 barrels to the firm’s daily production.
The project includes the development of two oil fields called Harris and Barra, 160km east of the Shetlands and 12km west of the Tern field. The two fields are estimated to contain recoverable oil reserves of more than 45 million barrels.
The approval follows tax measures announced by the Chancellor earlier this year to support and increase investment in the North Sea.
Energy Minister John Hayes said: ”I am delighted to announce the go-ahead for this project which will bring new jobs and create new opportunities for UK companies to compete for key parts of the work. Dana Petroleum has really demonstrated its commitment to the North Sea and in doing so is playing its part in helping to secure the UK’s future energy needs.”
Dana is the operator of the project, in which it holds a 77% stake and Japanese exploration and production company Cieco holds the remaining 23%.