MORE than 700 jobs are set to be created after Norwegian energy giant Statoil announced a £4.3billion North Sea project.
• 200 onshore jobs in Aberdeen and 500 offshore posts planned
• Mariner oil field, 100 miles east of Shetland, set for development
The firm will develop the Mariner oil field, around 100 miles east of the Shetland Isles.
Statoil claimed the move represented the largest new offshore development in the UK for more than a decade.
Lars Christian Bacher, executive vice president for international development and production at Statoil, said the plans would lead to “substantial job creation” in the Aberdeen area, with more than 700 long-term, full-time posts expected.
The company expects to take on 200 people to work at an operations centre in Aberdeen as well as more than 500 offshore positions.
Pending final approval from the UK authorities, Statoil expects to start producing oil there in 2017, with an estimated 30 years worth of oil in the Mariner Field.
Mr Bacher said: “We are satisfied that we now are able to make an investment decision for a profitable development of the Mariner field.”
He added: “The Mariner project is a good strategic fit for Statoil.
“We are the world’s largest offshore operator and have a portfolio of attractive projects in some of the most prolific basins in the world.
“The North Sea is a core area for Statoil and we look forward to taking a leading role in further developing also the UK part of this basin.”
Maureen Watt, the SNP MSP for Aberdeen South and North Kincardine, said: “The creation of 700 new jobs and financial interest from Japan is a sure sign that the stock of Scotland’s oil is a hugely valuable resource.”
She described North Sea oil as a “tremendous asset with vast untapped reserves worth up to £1.5 trillion” and added: “There is a higher value of oil and gas remaining than has so far been extracted and if we are to make the most of them, then we need access to the economic levers needed to ensure that Scotland remains a world leader in energy.”