Natural gas began flowing from the Laggan-Tormore fields earlier this month after more than £3.5 billion spent developing the deepwater site by French energy group Total.
Output is expected to climb to the equivalent of 90,000 barrels of oil a day from Laggan-Tormore and processed at the nearby Shetland Gas Plant before being pumped to the mainland. It will supply around two million households – or 8 per cent of the UK’s gas needs over a lifespan of 20 years.
Advice provided to the independent Scottish Parliament Information Centre confirmed that peak production at the new fields will be able to cover average Scottish gas demand.
Highlands and Islands MSP Mike MacKenzie said: “The newly constructed Shetland Gas Plant is a major economic investment and a sign of confidence in the future of our oil and gas industry.
“The scale of these new facilities is absolutely massive – with analysts confirming that these two fields will produce enough to meet 100 per cent of Scotland’s gas demand.
“That’s good news for Shetland, for Scotland, and for our North Sea industry.”
The site was particularly difficult to develop because of its location and the output of gas was delayed by more than a year because of weather conditions. It lies geographically closer to the North Atlantic than the North Sea, where the depth increases from an average of 120 metres to more than 600m.
Arnaud Breuillac, president of exploration and production at Total, said: “The innovative subsea-to-shore development concept has no offshore surface infrastructure and benefits from both improved safety performance and lower costs.
“By opening up this new production hub, Total is also boosting the United Kingdom’s production capacity and Europe’s energy security.”
Shetland MSP Tavish Scott said: “I believe that the industry has a significant role to play in the Shetland, Scottish and UK economies for years to come. Total’s investment and their determination to bring this project forward is therefore a sign of much needed confidence at a particularly tough time for oil and gas.”