Oil giant BP is moving ahead with a £450million UK North Sea project.
The Kinnoull field is among 24 significant developments worldwide highlighted recently by BP.
The find, which lies about 140 miles north-east of Aberdeen, is understood to have recoverable reserves of about 50million barrels of oil.
BP plans to develop the field by three subsea production wells tied back to the company’s nearby Andrew platform.
Some of the key contracts for the development are expected to be awarded in the next few weeks.
Production is anticipated to start in the middle of 2012.
BP has a 77% stake in Kinnoull – which was discovered less than two years ago – and its partners are Eni (17%) and Petro Summit (6%).
BP spokesman Matt Taylor said yesterday that development of the field was a key part of projects to further develop the Andrew area.
The field was discovered in 1974 and it has been in production since 1996.
Andrew was the first oil and gas installation to achieve the Emas (Eco Management Audit Scheme) environmental standard.
BP last month signalled a massive vote of confidence in the North Sea by announcing plans to spend billions of pounds in Scottish waters over the next few years.
The oil giant revealed it was determined to invest heavily to keep production above the 300,000-barrels-a-day mark, at least until 2020.
The cash injection – against a background of declining overall output in the oil and gas sector – will bring a welcome boost to service firms across the north-east, in addition to providing employment for BP’s North Sea workforce of more than 3,000.
Its North Sea strategy was revealed at a presentation in London, at which it identified 24 significant developments worldwide.
Four of these are in waters off Scotland, the centrepiece being the £4billion phase-two development of the giant Clair field west of Shetland.
Another major development is intended to extend the working life of the group’s Schiehallion oil field west of Shetland.
The other two big BP projects outlined yesterday were Kinnoull and the Devenick gas field north-east of Aberdeen.
Final investment decisions on all 24 projects will be made by the end of 2011.