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Total starts gas production from Laggan and Tormore fields west of Shetland

08 February 2016

On February 8, French oil group Total announced it had started gas production from the Laggan and Tormore gas and condensate fields, located in 600 metres of water in the West of Shetland area. The fields will produce 90,000 barrels of oil equivalent per day (boe/d). Total E&P UK has a 60% interest in the fields alongside DONG E&P (UK) Limited (20%) and SSE E&P UK Limited (20%).

Location of Laggan & Tormore fields - Image: Total
Location of Laggan & Tormore fields - Image: Total

The Laggan-Tormore development consists of a 140 kilometer tie-back of four subsea wells to the new onshore Shetland Gas Plant which has a capacity of 500 million standard cubic feet per day. Following treatment at the gas plant, the gas is exported to the mainland via the Shetland Island Regional Gas Export System (SIRGE) and the condensates are exported via the Sullom Voe Terminal.

 “Laggan-Tormore is a key component of our production growth in 2016 and beyond. 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,” said Arnaud Breuillac, President Exploration & Production. “By opening up this new production hub in the deep offshore waters of the West of Shetland, Total is also boosting the United Kingdom’s production capacity and Europe’s energy security.”

Almost one fifth of the UK's remaining oil and gas reserves are thought to lie in the area to the west of Shetland.

The Shetland Gas Plant is said by Total to be capable of meeting 8% of the UK’s gas needs and supplying energy to two million homes, part of a £3.5bn investment by Total. Challenging weather conditions delayed the project by more than a year and added millions to its cost.

The construction phase was estimated to have involved up to 800 jobs, which the French group said made it the biggest construction project in the UK since the London Olympics, with 70 full time posts in plant operation.

The announcement comes at a difficult time for the North Sea oil and gas industry, with industry leaders estimating that 65,000 jobs have been lost since 2014.

Scotland's Energy Minister Fergus Ewing said: "It is the success of large investment projects such as this which will see the Shetland Islands remain a key hub for oil and gas production in the North Sea.

"Production from the North Sea as a whole is now increasing and cost efficiencies are being achieved. The Laggan and Tormore fields, which have a lifespan of 20 years, will provide a further boost to North Sea production."

Commenting on the start-up of production from Total E&P UK’s Laggan-Tormore field in the west of Shetland, Deirdre Michie, Oil & Gas UK’s chief executive, said:

“The confirmation of first gas production from the Laggan-Tormore field is very welcome news at a challenging time for the UK oil and gas industry as a whole.

“Developing the field attracted billions of pounds of investment to the UK, employed thousands of people and required technological innovation over many years. Production from the field will supply a significant proportion of the UK’s gas needs, supporting energy security at a time of sustained dependence on gas as a fuel.

“Investment in Laggan –Tormore was made possible by the introduction of a tax allowance for deepwater gas developments several years ago. The significant economic contribution made by the project illustrates how changes to the tax regime can be a real enabler in maximising the economic benefit from our oil and gas reserves.”

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