US firm Apache has announced it has made a 10million-barrel oil discovery in the North Sea.
The Garten discovery is four miles south of the Beryl Alpha platform, which lies around 155 miles north east of Aberdeen.
Apache holds a 100 percent working interest in the Garten block, which this marking the 2,500th exploration well in the UK Continental Shelf (UKCS).
The discovery will be tied back to the Beryl Alpha platform, with production expected to begin in the first quarter of 2019.
It follows other recent discoveries in the area since 2015, with Callater, Corona and Storr.
Chief executive and president John Christmann said: “The Garten discovery marks our fourth commercial discovery in the Beryl area in the past three years spanning several play types ranging from the Tertiary to the Triassic.
“Apache’s strategy to focus on exploration near operated facilities is set to deliver significant production without the long cycle time of large scale projects.”
The firm says the discovery is likely to exceed 10million barrels of light oil, which is at the high end of predrill estimates.
Andy Samuel, chief executive of the Oil and Gas Authority, said it is the product of using modern technology to uncover reserves.
“Garten marks the 2500th offshore exploration well on the UK Continental Shelf and is an excellent start for exploration drilling in 2018.
“Apache has created new opportunities by consistently investing in high-quality 3D seismic data to uncover near-field prospectivity around the prolific Beryl Field.
“Modern data and the application of new technologies are key to stimulating exploration and successfully delivering the full potential of the UKCS.”
Analysts Wood Mackenzie said in a statement online: “Apache has done it again at Beryl with 10 million barrels discovered at its Garten prospect.
“Hot on the heels of Callater, Corona and Storr, that’s more than 85 million barrels discovered in the area since 2015.”