UK plans to develop remaining oil and gas reserves in Shetland

Dec 20, 2006 01:00 AM

The UK government will announce plans next year to develop 17 % of the country's remaining oil and gas reserves in the North Sea west of Shetland, as the nation attempts to curb its reliance on imports.
The UK Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) set up a task force work group this year, including representatives of five companies that operate oil and gasfields in the area, the government said. BP, Total, Chevron, ExxonMobil and Dong Energy are analyzing options and will deliver the report to the government in the spring of next year, the DTI said.

Britain has been a net importer of natural gas since 2004 because domestic supplies from the North Sea are being depleted. The UK's reliance on imports has driven up the cost of the fuel sold in the country, resulting in more expensive household gas and power bills.
“Maximizing the UK's existing oil and gas reserves is a key component in meeting the security of supply challenge set out in the Energy Review,” the DTI said. “The government believes there exists an opportunity to establish the spine of a substantial gas infrastructure west of Shetland to stimulate further activity and to improve security of supply.”

The work group has so far identified several options for infrastructure to deliver oil and gas from the region. They include an onshore hub at Sullom Voe, the location of the Brent crude oil loading terminal and other locations for offshore terminals in the area, the DTI said.
The group is also addressing options for building a new pipeline to transport gas from the West of Shetland to the UK mainland.

Source: Bloomberg
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