Britain signs off on more North Sea oil

Feb. 26, 2013 at 6:47 AM

LONDON, Feb. 26 (UPI) -- British energy company Maersk Oil announced it was approved to develop an oil field in the North Sea that could hold as much as 9 million barrels of oil.

Maersk said its field development plan for the Balloch oil field about 140 miles off the coast of Scotland, was approved by the British Department of Energy and Climate Change.

Production from the field would come initially from a nearby floating production storage and offloading vessel.

"The first well is expected to peak around 8,000 barrels of oil per day with first oil in April 2013 and a second well is being planned," the company said. "The total reserves from the two wells are estimated to be 9 million barrels of oil."

British Energy Minister John Hayes said using existing FSPO for the field could be an example of how to best exploit North Sea fields of its size.

"This type of development will become increasingly important for maximizing oil and gas recovery from the U.K. continental shelf and creating jobs in the supply chain," he said in a statement.

Last week, the British government gave Norwegian energy major Statoil the consent to drill in the Mariner heavy oil field in the North Sea. London expects the field to eventually produce around 55,000 barrels of oil per day, about 5 percent of the country's current production.

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