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Major find off Shetland

Biggest gas discovery in North Sea for 10 years

Deirdre Michie

Deirdre Michie: major discovery


Energy company Total has announced a major gas discovery off Shetland which has been hailed as the biggest for 10 years.

Initial tests at a site on the Glendronach prospect indicated that it could contain one trillion cubic feet of gas.

Total has a 60% stake in the site. Energy company SSE and chemicals firm Ineos each have a 20% interest.

The announcement came amid further positive news for the sector at the oil price hit a four-year high.

Arnaud Breuillac, Total’s president of exploration and production, said: “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.

“Located on an emerging play of the prolific west of Shetland area, the discovery can be commercialised quickly and at low cost.”

The Greater Laggan area is about 125km (78 miles) north west of Shetland.

Global energy consultancy Wood Mackenzie said it was the largest conventional gas discovery in UK waters since Culzean in 2008.

Deirdre Michie, industry body Oil and Gas UK’s chief executive, said: “This is a major discovery by Total which demonstrates the exciting potential the West of Shetland frontier region holds.”

Oil price surges

Tue, Sep 25: Brent crude – the benchmark oil price – is now trading at its highest for four years and could reach $90 a barrel by Christmas, according to some analysts.

Oil held onto gains overnight with Brent crude up 0.30% at $81.44 a barrel while West Texas Intermediate rose 0.22% to $72.24.

Opec and non-Opec members, including Russia, decided not to increase oil output at a meeting at the weekend despite calls from US President Donald Trump to lower prices.

Also, US sanctions against Iran – one of Opec’s largest producers, are due to come into force in November.

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