The regulator for North Sea industry said it expects more “high value projects” to be sanctioned this year, prolonging production for years to come.
Andy Samuel, chief executive of the Oil and Gas Authority, was speaking after oil giant Shell revealed it had taken a final investment decision on the Penguins area, north-east of Shetland.
The project will involve the construction of Shell’s first new manned installation in the northern North Sea in almost 30 years.
Mr Samuel said: “We are very pleased to approve the redevelopment of the Penguins cluster in the Northern North Sea. It’s a vote of confidence from two major global operators, Shell and Esso, in realising the significant remaining potential of an existing asset.
“We are expecting further high value projects to move forward to sanction this year which will help prolong UK production for many years.
“The project also marks the first time that the OGA Supply Chain Action Plans will be used as part of the field development approval process ensuring collaboration through the Supply Chain to maximise value for both operator and service companies.”