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North Sea oil field gets government nod

Life left in North Sea reserve areas, British energy minister says.
By Daniel J. Graeber Follow @dan_graeber Contact the Author   |   June 12, 2014 at 9:43 AM
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LONDON, June 12 (UPI) -- British energy company Premier Oil said Thursday it received consent to develop a North Sea oil field expected to produce 50,000 barrels per day at its peak.

Premier and its partners said it received consent from the British Department of Energy and Climate Change to develop the Catcher area in the central waters of the North Sea. The project includes the drilling of 22 wells into the area's Varadero and Burgman fields and peak production is estimated at 50,000 bpd.

"Having discovered Catcher in 2010, we are extremely pleased to have brought the Catcher area through the development approval process," Premier CEO Simon Lockett said in a statement.

First oil should be taken from the field by mid-2017. It will be sent into a floating production storage and offloading vessel.

British Energy Minister Michael Fallon said the consent shows there's still life in reserve basins of the North Sea.

"The project represents over $1.6 billion in investments and almost all of the subsea expertise and equipment needed for this development is being supplied by British companies right across the country," he said.

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