Serica Energy has decided to connect its North Sea Columbus field to Shell’s Shearwater platform.
The London-headquartered firm was deciding between the offtake route as well as an alternative tie-back option to Chrysaor’s Lomond platform.
Serica said both had similar benefits but there was a “clear commercial advantage” to the Shearwater route.
Columbus, which Serica has a 50% stake in, will be connected to a proposed pipeline between the nearby Arran field and the Shearwater platform.
First gas is targeted for 2021, which Serica says is around a year further away than the Lomond option.
The company will now submit a development plan for the project by the end of June to the Oil and Gas Authority.
The Columbus gas field has estimated reserves at 6.7million barrels of oil equivalent.
Serica chief executive Mitch Flegg said: “It was a very tight decision. When we got the proposals from each group involved there was a slight but clear commercial advantage to going through the Arran-to-Shearwater hub.
“There was a commercial opportunity.”
The news comes as Serica announces its annual results, boosting its pre-tax profits.
Elsewhere, the firm says that partners in the Erskine project have decided to put a new pipeline in place to solve recurring wax build-up in the current export pipeline.