A new gas plant 77 miles to the north west of Shetland started production this month, with its operator, Total saying it will be capable of supplying energy to 2m homes (8% of the UK’s gas needs).
The Laggan and Tormore fields will generate 90,000 barrels of oil-equivalent per day.
The plant has been one of the biggest construction projects in the UK since the Olympics in London. French company, Total, having invested 3.5bn into the project with challenging weather conditions causing delays and adding £millions to its cost.
President of exploration and production at Total, Arnaud Breuillac, said: “The innovative subsea-to-shore development concept, the first of its kind in the United Kingdom, has no offshore surface infrastructure and benefits from both improved safety performance and lower costs.
Boost to UK capacity
“By opening up this new production hub in the deep offshore waters off Shetland, Total is also boosting the United Kingdom’s production capacity and Europe’s energy security.”
The Shetland Gas Plant has been built on a peat bog next to the Sullom Voe oil terminal and is said to have involved up to 800 jobs, with 70 full time posts in plant operation.
There was also a major programme of subsea infrastructure and pipelines as well as the onshore construction. Total’s announcement comes at a hard time for the North Sea oil and gas industry, with industry leaders estimating that 65,000 jobs have been lost since 2014 with Shetland MSP Tavish Scott saying the prospects for the west of Shetland looked positive in spite of the “doom and gloom from some about the future of oil and gas.”