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Energy Minister gives go-ahead to new North Sea development

The vital role of North Sea oil and gas in securing the UK's future energy supplies was underlined today in Aberdeen by Energy Minister Charles Hendry, as he approved the development of a new oil and gas field.

Charles Hendry also announced record levels of interest in new developments in the North Sea as 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.

Hendry approved the development of Apache's Bacchus oil field, as he visited Aberdeen and ExxonMobil's Beryl oil platform in the North Sea.

Energy Minister Charles Hendry 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 L. House said:

"We are pleased that the minister has approved Apache's plan to develop the Bacchus discovery. Bacchus, along with our Maule discovery, are examples of fields that can be developed economically, utilizing existing infrastructure at Apache's Forties Field. These projects also demonstrate that the government's incentives are encouraging development of smaller fields in the UK sector of the North Sea."

The Bacchus oil field, located in the Central North Sea, has estimated reserves of 18 million barrels of oil equivalent .

Notes
  1. The Bacchus field is operated by Apache with 70%, partnered by Shell UK with 20% and Endeavour Energy with 10% equity.
  2. The UK oil and gas industry supports around 350,000 jobs directly and indirectly and attracts about £12 billion in annual expenditure a year.

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