Oil rig in the North Sea off the British coas
The British government on Friday gave the green light for oil firm EnQuest to invest £4.0 billion in a North Sea oil field scheme that will support an estimated 20,000 jobs. Oil firm EnQuest said in a statement that it would plough
the equivalent of $6.4 billion or 4.7 billion euros into the Kraken oil field east of the Shetland Islands, which lie north of the Scottish mainland.
The plans have been approved by the government's Department of Energy and Climate Change and welcomed by finance minister George Osborne.
Aberdeen-based EnQuest added that the development will support 20,000 British jobs during construction and an average of around 1,000 jobs in Britain for each year of Kraken's life.
"Kraken is a transformational project for EnQuest and we are delighted to be able to proceed with it, working with the government and our partners to maximise the extraction of approximately 140 million barrels of oil in this field, over its 25-year-long life," said EnQuest chief executive Amjad Bseisu in the statement.
Gross peak oil output is expected to be more than 50,000 barrels of oil per day, with first production likely to begin in 2016-2017.
The Kraken field has gross reserves of 137 million barrels of oil equivalent per day.
"This is a big investment that will create jobs and boost the British economic plan," said Chancellor of the Exchequer Osborne in reaction to Friday's news.
"It is also evidence that our efforts to create a competitive tax regime that gets the most oil and gas out of the North Sea are working."
EnQuest has a 60-percent stake in the Kraken field, while its partners Carin and First Oil hold 25 percent and 15 percent respectively.