North Sea gas field to create 1,200 jobs
A MAJOR new £1.4 billion North Sea development is to create more than 1,200 new jobs in the UK.
The Cygnus project will lead to the development of the sixth largest gas field in the Southern North Sea. The three companies behind it – French multi-national utility company GDF Suez, Bayerngas, and Scottish Gas-owner Centrica – say 80 per cent of the work will be awarded to UK-based firms.
Initial contracts worth £375 million were signed yesterday to kickstart the project, which will include the creation of 1,235 jobs.
Among the companies to benefit from the initial contracts is Fife-based Burntisland Fabricators, which will manage the main fabrication contracts, with the creation of 100 new jobs.
The contracts will bring a further 50 jobs to GDF Suez’s operational headquarters in Aberdeen, with an additional 100 jobs created when offshore platform operations are manned from 2015 when production is expected to start.
In a joint statement, the three companies behind the new project said a total of £1.4 billion would be invested in the Cygnus project, creating a total of 4,000 direct and indirect jobs over the next four years, during the construction phase.
The Cygnus field is the largest discovery in the Southern gas basin in the last 25 years and is expected to meet the demand for nearly one and a half million homes during peak production – when it will account for 5 per cent of the UK’s total gas production.
Details of the project had been widely anticipated after the UK government’s announcement last month it would be allowing tax relief for new large shallow water gas fields.
The partnership said the government’s move had provided “the certainty and confidence to proceed with the development”.
Welcoming the announcement, Scottish Government Finance Secretary, John Swinney, said: “Scotland has an incredible wealth of energy resources, capable of both meeting our energy needs and generating significant exports to the rest of the UK and Europe, and the Scottish Government’s Oil and Gas Strategy, developed in conjunction with industry, lays out a plan to help the industry go from strength to strength.”
Centrica chief executive Sam Laidlaw said: “This announcement represents a significant boost to the UK’s long-term energy security and creates much needed jobs.
“For Centrica, which handles around a third of the UK’s gas and supplies half of its homes, this is an extremely important project as we look to unlock the remaining gas in the North Sea and secure UK gas for our customers.”
UK Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change Edward Davey, said: “The North Sea remains a vital source of the nation’s energy security and our expertise is renowned the world over. The Government is determined to maintain the best possible investment environment to ensure we capitalise fully on this national asset.”
GDF Suez and Bayerngas both described the contracts as a major development, demonstrating their commitment to the North Sea.
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