The UK’s largest gas field in over a decade has been discovered, providing a major boost to the nation’s offshore energy sector.
The UK’s largest gas field discovery in ten years has been hailed as significant by industry experts, providing optimism that oil and gas production in the North Sea isn’t on its last legs.
The discovery was made by a Chinese-led consortium at the Glengorm reservoir beneath the North Sea. It is predicted that gas which equates to 250 million barrels of oil could be extracted from the area, meeting 5% of the country’s annual demand.
Gas and oil production in the North Sea has been on decline over the last twenty years and this new field could play a significant role in extending the lifespan of the industry.
The find is the largest of its kind since 2008 when the Culzean gas field was discovered 145 miles east of Aberdeen.
The China National Offshore Oil Corporation owns 50% of the Glengorm project, with Italian firm, Edison holding 25% and French oil giants, Total owning the other 25%.
Total have been involved in many of the North Sea’s recent discoveries and twice failed to find gas in the area in 2017, the firm intend to use existing platforms and infrastructure located nearby to extract the gas.
It is believed that gas could be extracted from the site within 4-5 years using the existing Elgin–Franklin rigs. However, the reservoir’s high pressure and high temperatures mean the costs of the project will be higher than other gas fields in the area.
Andy Samuel, the chief executive of The Oil and Gas Authority claims that 10bn-20bn barrels of oil and gas still remains in the UK Continental Shelf and ‘there is every chance of yet more significant finds”.