“Largest undeveloped” oil field discovered west of Shetland Isles

Hurricane Energy claims one billion recoverable barrels of oil could be extracted from new find

SCOTLAND’S North Sea Oil industry has received a boost with the discovery of substantial new reserves 60 miles west of the Shetland Isles.

Hurricane Energy, which made the find, hopes to begin extraction of a projected one billion barrels of oil in 2019. The new find has expanded the area over which oil fields are being surveyed in the North Sea.

Hurricane CEO Dr Robert Trice said: “This is a highly significant moment for Hurricane.

“We believe that the Greater Lancaster Area is a single hydrocarbon accumulation, making it the largest undeveloped discovery on the UK Continental Shelf (UKCS).”

The discovery will come as a boost to the North Sea industry, which has seen tens of thousands of jobs shed with the collapse of the global price of oil in the last two years.

Responding to the find, a Scottish Government spokesperson said: “This is a significant discovery and a welcome reminder of the huge untapped potential that remains in Scottish waters.

“But to maximise the long term benefits for Scotland it is vital that the right fiscal regime is in place to bring new discoveries on-stream. Only by stewarding new prospects to production will we reap the benefits in terms of creating jobs and boosting our economy.

“This shows that there is potential for a new lease of life for the offshore industry in Scotland. Our governments at Holyrood and at Westminster could help, by using their borrowing powers to take out public stakes in new offshore infrastructure.“ Unite Scotland

“Throughout the downturn in the global oil and gas industry the Scottish Government has invested in research and development – helping firms to lay foundations for future growth.

“Meanwhile the UK government has demonstrated a shameful lack of action, sitting on its hands in the recent budget statement and designating the oil and gas sector a ‘low priority’ in Brexit negotiations.

“Perhaps this welcome news for the industry might, at long last, spur the UK government into action in providing long overdue support for Scotland’s energy sector.”

A spokesperson for Unite Scotland said: “This shows that there is potential for a new lease of life for the offshore industry in Scotland. Our governments at Holyrood and at Westminster could help, by using their borrowing powers to take out public stakes in new offshore infrastructure.

“That would encourage and support new oil and gas exploration and extraction, safeguarding our members’ jobs and contributing to the wider economy and the public purse.”

Picture courtesy of Michael Elleray

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