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26.09.2018 10:20
Total announces major offshore UK gas discovery
Shetland Islands find is the largest discovery in the UK in the last decade

  • On Monday the French energy company Total announced a major discovery off the coast of the Shetland Islands in what is the largest UK oil and gas find in a decade.
    © Enrico Strocchi @

The company stated that preliminary tests confirmed good reservoir quality, permeability and well production deliverability in the Glendronach gas prospect in the west of Shetland region where Total has invested billions of dollars in energy infrastructure, the Financial Times reports.

According to the company estimates, there are 1tn cubic feet of recoverable resources. This is equivalent to close to 15 per cent of the total proven gas reserves in the UK as of the end of 2016, according to a BP statistical review.

The prolific West of Shetland has been dubbed the final frontier for UK oil and gas growth. Under-explored and ripe for development for energy majors, it could help offset the longer-term decline of the UK offshore oil and gas industry.

“Material discoveries like Glendronach will whet the appetites of those looking to invest,” said Kevin Swann, a North Sea specialist at WoodMackenzie, who said such developments would help to boost oil and gas production through to the mid-2020s.

Since 2010 Total has spent around £4bn on energy infrastructure — from pipelines to subsea wells — in the West of Shetland, which the company says will help develop Glendronach quicker and at a lower cost.

The discovery, which corresponds to more than 170m barrels of oil equivalent, is far greater than the 10m-20m boe of an average discovery in a major basin like the North Sea. Production is expected to start as early as 2019.

Arnaud Breuillac, head of Total’s exploration and production business, said in a statement: “Glendronach is a significant discovery for Total which gives us access to additional gas resources in one of our core areas and validates our exploration strategy.”

Total, which is the third largest resource holder in the North Sea with 1bn boe, has a 60 per cent stake in Glendronach with the rest split between Ineos E&P UK and SSE E&P UK.

The company said the discovery would prolong the life of its infrastructure and production hub in the West of Shetland, which also includes the Laggan, Tormore, Edradour & Glenlivet fields.

TAGS: Total | UK | North Sea | oil | gas | discovery 

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