UK Energy Minister Fallon visits biggest North Sea gas rig in 25 years being built at Nigg

Nigg fabrication yard

UK Energy Minister Michael Fallon yesterday visited Nigg fabrication yard near Inverness, a key construction site for the Cygnus project – which is the largest southern North Sea gas field to be approved and developed in the past 25 years.

A partnership between GDF Suez, Centrica and Bayerngas, the Cygnus project is worth approximately £1.5 billion, and supports around 4,000 jobs.

Around 95% of the expenditure associated with the development of this field will be spent with UK based businesses. It is expected to produce 85 billion cubic feet of gas per year, providing enough energy to heat millions of homes and pumping over £4 billion back into the UK economy.

Fallon said: “It is great to see our support for North Sea oil and gas translating into real jobs for the people of Nigg. We are continuing to implement the recommendations of the Wood Review to maximise the potential of the North Sea and make sure the whole of the UK benefits.

Ian Conacher, Cygnus Asset Manager, GDF SUEZ E&P, UK, said: “Cygnus is a flagship for the UK’s excellence in offshore design, engineering and construction. As operator, we are delighted to welcome the Minister to the Isleburn yard today where he is able to view the completed subsea structures as they await the journey to the Cygnus field.”

Nigg yard, which is operated by Inverness-based Global Energy Group, is currently producing the subsea infrastructure for the Cygnus project and is one of three construction sites in the UK. The project started in June 2013 and will complete in the second quarter of 2015.

Roy MacGregor, Chairman, Global Energy Group, said: “We are delighted to be part of the Cygnus project given its importance to gas field development in the North Sea.

“It is vital the UK government continues to support projects of this nature and good to hear about their support on the views contained in the Wood Review.”

Construction of the Cygnus project is currently taking place in three main locations in the UK – Hartlepool in Teesside, Methill in Fife, and Nigg, near Inverness.

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