"I am delighted to announce the go-ahead for this project, which will bring new jobs and create new opportunities for U.K. companies to compete for key parts of the work," said Minister of State for Energy and Climate Change John Hayes, referring to the Harris and Barra oil fields in the North Sea, estimated to contain 45 million barrels of recoverable oil.
"Dana Petroleum has really demonstrated its commitment to the North Sea and in doing so is playing its part in helping to secure the U.K.'s future energy needs," Hayes said in a statement.
The oil company, based in Aberdeen, Scotland, has set its sights on doubling is current production, said Marcus Richards, the firm's chief executive officer.
"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," he said.
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