It has been revealed that the Tormore and Laggan fields’ oil and gas resources are now being extracted by Total Oil via a new facility based in Shetland. The French energy giant expects it will produce enough power for around two million homes when production is at full capacity.
The new Shetland Gas Plant services both the Tormore and Laggan fields, which are located just to the north-west off the coast of the Shetland Islands. It is believed that the area contains around one-fifth of all gas and oil reserves left in Britain; combined, the two fields are expected to produce around 90,000 barrels of oil each day. The construction of the latest plan is the largest development to occur in the UK since the infrastructure for the 2012 Olympic Games was built and, when fully operational, will meet around eight per cent of the gas needs in the UK.
Total has previously explained that the development was affected by a number of delays, largely attributed to the difficult weather challenges in the area. A total of £3.5bn has been invested in the project, which will create around 800 jobs, 70 of which will be full-time plant operation posts. Total also spoke of the game-changing potential the new site has due to the lack of offshore infrastructure and the lower costs involved. This means it could herald a new era for The innovative subsea-to-shore development concept, the first of its kind in the UK, 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 UK's production capacity and Europe's energy security the British oil and gas industry, which has seen 65,000 jobs shed over the past 18 months alone.
Arnaud Breuillac, president of exploration and production for Total, said: “The innovative subsea-to-shore development concept, the first of its kind in the UK, 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 UK's production capacity and Europe's energy security.”
Until the Shetland Gas Plant was built, the local fields were only used for oil extraction due to operational and logistical issues. The two fields lie around 77 miles off the coast and are actually nearer the North Atlantic than the North Sea; however, the new infrastructure and pipelines mean that Total will also be able to extract gas from the fields. With around 500 million standard cubic feet of gas able to be handled each day before being exported to mainland Britain, the latest endeavour could be an important boost for the industry.
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