Lancaster oil field near Shetland wins regulatory approval

A massive oil field to the west of Shetland could begin production in 2019 after winning regulatory approval.

Hurricane Energy said the announcement was an 'important step in demonstrating the potential of the UK continental shelf' in general. Picture: PA
Hurricane Energy said the announcement was an 'important step in demonstrating the potential of the UK continental shelf' in general. Picture: PA

Hurricane Energy’s plan to develop the Lancaster field, which could yield up to 17,000 barrels per day, was approved this week.

The company said it was targeting ‘first oil’ in the first half of 2019 following a recent $530m round of fundraising.

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Chief executive Dr Robert Trice said he was “delighted” by the firm’s progress.

“With funding and regulatory approvals in hand, we can now fully focus on delivering the project within the target timeline of first oil in the first half of 2019,” he added.

“This is an important step in demonstrating the potential of basement west of Shetland and in the UK continental shelf more generally.”

In April, Hurricane Energy tripled its estimate of how many barrels it will recover from the Lancaster field from 200 million in a 2013 assessment to 593 million barrels.

The increased estimate followed an earlier announcement last that it had made the “largest undeveloped discovery” of oil in UK waters in the Greater Lancaster Area (GLA).

The firm said one billion barrels of oil could be contained within the Halifax well within the GLA, 60 miles west of Shetland.

A survey found oil in two wells about 19 miles apart and says the combined discoveries have proved the presence of a giant field.

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