A NORTH Sea field that is likely to meet at least 1 per cent of Britain’s annual gas demands has been given the green light.
Production from the Juliet development which lies in the southern area of the North Sea, off the coast of Lincolnshire, is expected to begin late next year.
Field operator GDF Suez E&P said yesterday that the field had received “project sanction”, meaning it has been granted government regulatory clearance.
The firm, which holds a majority interest of just over 51 per cent in the project, described it as a “significant and exciting milestone”.
Declining North Sea gas production has made the UK a net importer, with supplies coming from an increasingly diverse line-up of countries.
According to some estimates, by 2016 as much as 80 per cent of the gas consumed in the UK will come from imports.
Jean-Claude Perdigues, managing director of GDF Suez E&P UK, said: “Juliet is an important subsea development for us, which incorporates both new and existing infrastructure, and plans are well advanced to deliver first gas by the end of 2013.
“The development is in line with our strategy to increase our reserves and production through organic growth in our core regions.”
The firm, part of the French energy giant of the same name, entered the UK continental shelf region in 1997.
It has since built up a substantial portfolio of assets in the central and southern North Sea, as well as to the west of Shetland, comprising more than 40 licences.
The company is also the operator of Cygnus, one of the most significant undeveloped gas fields in the North Sea.
Between them, First Oil Expro and Hansa Hydrocarbons hold the remaining stake in the Juliet field.
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