The SNP has set out four key priorities for the Scottish offshore oil and gas industry – as oil began flowing from a North Sea field which is part of a wider project aimed at unlocking 100 million barrels of additional reserves.
Operator Repsol Sinopec yesterday announced that first oil had been achieved at the Shaw field, which is part of the Montrose Area Redevelopment 125 miles east of Aberdeen.
The project has involved modifying and expanding existing Montrose Area infrastructure, including developing three new fields – Godwin, Cayley and Shaw. First oil is expected from Cayley by the end of the summer, with production expected to peak at up to 40,000 barrels a day.
A new bridge-linked platform connected to Montrose Alpha will provide additional process and plant support facilities for the project.
Bill Dunnett, Repsol Sinopec managing director, said the Montrose Area was a key part of the company’s long-term future.
He said: “This is a major achievement for this business and will help to consolidate the transformation that Repsol Sinopec Resources has undergone in the last two years.”
Repsol Sinopec has a working interest of almost 59% in the Montrose Area. Its sole partner is Marubeni Oil & Gas – the UK subsidiary of the giant Japanese industrial conglomerate.
Andy Samuel, Chief Executive of the Oil and Gas Authority, added: “First oil from the Montrose Area Redevelopment project epitomises the additional value that can be achieved by integrating new and existing infrastructure to unlock significant resources from fields across the North Sea.”
Meanwhile, Angus Robertson, Deputy Leader of the SNP, has set out the four key priorities for oil and gas ahead of next month’s British parliamentary elections during a visit to ROVOP in the West Aberdeenshire constituency.
He said the key actions SNP MPs will demand from the UK government in the next parliament include:
- Prioritise support for exploration activity to ensure a bright future for the North Sea and oil and gas jobs in Scotland.
- Provide loan guarantees for critical infrastructure — as promised in the 2016 Budget, but yet to be delivered by Westminster.
- Ensure Scotland’s oil and gas sector, its supply chain and dependent jobs are reassessed as a priority in Brexit negotiations.
- Explore new incentives for oil and gas companies to diversify into renewables — to utilise existing skills and expertise and to protect jobs for the future.
Robertson said: “The Tories have revealed they consider oil and gas jobs a low priority in Brexit negotiations — our demand is that Westminster starts taking the industry seriously.
“We’ll be calling on the next UK government to explore incentives for oil and gas companies to diversify into clean energy — to help future-proof businesses, utilise existing skills and protect jobs.
“The SNP believes more support for oil exploration in Scottish waters is fundamental to ensure stable revenues and employment in the years ahead.
“The Tories have twiddled their thumbs and made clear they would rather oversee the managed decline of the oil and gas sector than see it thrive over the long term.”