Norwegian oil giant Statoil said yesterday it was ramping up investment to more than £12.7billion a year as it looked to hit its 2020 production target.
It said projects including the heavy-oil Mariner development south-east of Shetland and the nearby Bressay field meant it was on track for production of more than 2.5million barrels of oil equivalent (boe) per day by 2020.
Statoil said it would invest about £12.1billion this year, with exploration, including 50 exploration wells, accounting for about £2.23billion.
The growth in spending comes after an 8% rise in production in 2012, to 2million boe per day.
However, Statoil added that next year’s production figure would fall before it began to rise again as projects in Angola, Ireland, the US, UK and Norway started up.
Chief executive Helge Lund said: “2012 was a year of strong strategic and operational progress for Statoil. We grew our production by 8% and delivered strong earnings growth.”
The huge Mariner development, approved in December will be operated out of Aberdeen once up in running in about 2017.
Statoil started recruiting 200 staff recently for an operations centre to oversee the development, which is expected to create a further 500-plus UK jobs offshore when production starts.
Bressay has yet to be sanctioned, but Statoil included it in its 2017-20 production forecast.
Mr Lund also spoke about the recent terror attack on an Algerian gas plant the firm runs in partnership with BP and Sonatrach, describing the hostage crisis as “brutal, international terrorism of the worst kind”.
Five Statoil workers were killed in the incident at In Amenas. Six Britons also died during the crisis, in which 37 foreign hostages were taken, two with Scottish connections; including Alan Wright, a 37-year-old BP worker from Portsoy.
Mr Lund said: “This affects innocent people from a variety of nations.
“Innocent victims from a number of companies and countries have been subjected to senseless violence. The whole of Statoil is strongly effected by the terror attack.
“We continue to assist and support the families, friends and colleagues who have lost those dear to them.”