French oil and gas company Total said yesterday it had made a new gas and condensate discovery in the Alwyn area of the North Sea.
The field – to be known as Islay – lies in the UK sector of the North Sea, about 275 miles north-east of Aberdeen.
Total said a discovery well drilled to more than 13,000ft produced 43.09million cubic ft of gas per day, or 8,800 barrels of oil equivalent per day including condensates.
Islay is 100% owned by Total, whose other assets in the area include the Alwyn North, Dunbar, Grant, Ellon, Nuggets, Forvie North and Jura fields.
Islay is fewer than two miles from Jura, which was discovered in November 2006 and came on stream on May 20 this year.
Total said yesterday it was now working out how to connect Islay to its Alwyn production infrastructure.
The firm added that the new find was the latest success from an exploration strategy that had already led to the discoveries of West Franklin, Forvie North, Tormore and Jura within five years.
Meanwhile, Total chief executive Christophe de Margerie said oil prices were likely to remain high for a long time. He told a French parliamentary hearing the costs involved in production and identifying reserves automatically prevented oil prices from falling.
Mr de Margerie also said Total could make acquisitions in solar energy to speed up its development in the sector, adding: “We have decided to clearly strengthen our development effort.”
The company already has 50% stakes in two solar-energy-focused businesses, Tenesol and Photovoltech.
The company said it would over the next two years continue a major infill-drilling programme and water-injection project to increase production to more than 3,000bpd.