Dana gets go-ahead for $1.6bn North Sea project

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Dana Petroleum has been given the green light to press ahead with a $1.6 billion (£988 million) project to develop two oil fields in the North Sea.

The Aberdeen-based firm said the Department of Energy and Climate Change has approved the Western Isles project, which will develop two fields called Harris and Barra in the northern North Sea, about 100 miles east of the Shetlands and 7.5 miles west of the Tern field.

The nine-well Western Isles development is expected to produce more than 40,000 barrels of oil equivalent a day, adding more than 30,000 net barrels to Dana’s daily production when it comes onstream in 2015. The Harris and Barra fields are estimated to contain recoverable oil reserves of over 45 million barrels.

Dana chief executive Marcus Richards said: “The Western Isles project is at the heart of our growth strategy. Unlocking the potential of these new fields is a significant milestone as we aim to double our production to 100,000 barrels a day by 2016.”

John Hayes, UK minister for energy and climate change, said: ”I am delighted to announce the go-ahead for this project which will bring new jobs and create new opportunities for UK companies to compete for key parts of the work. Dana Petroleum has really demonstrated its commitment to the North Sea and in doing so is playing its part in helping to secure the UK’s future energy needs.”

Dana is the operator of the Western Isles development project, in which it holds a 77 per cent stake. Japanese exploration and production company Cieco holds the remaining 23 per cent.