The news is a major boost for the UK’s oil and gas sector as the development will produce 90,000 barrels of oil equivalent a day (boed).
Arnaud Breuillac, Total’s president of exploration and production, said: “Laggan-Tormore is a key component of our production growth in 2016 and beyond.
“The innovative subsea-to-shore development concept, the first of its kind in the United Kingdom, has no offshore surface infrastructure and benefits from both improved safety performance and lower costs.
“By opening up this new production hub in the deep offshore waters of the West of Shetland, Total is also boosting the United Kingdom’s production capacity and Europe’s energy security.”
The development consists of a 140 kilometer tie-back of four subsea wells to the new onshore Shetland gas plant which has a capacity of 500 million standard cubic feet per day.
Following treatment at the gas plant, the gas is exported to the mainland via the Shetland Island Regional Gas Export System (SIRGE) and the condensates are exported via the Sullom Voe Terminal.
The news has received a warm welcome from Oil & Gas UK, the representative organisation for the UK’s offshore oil and gas industry.
Deirdre Michie, Oil & Gas UK’s chief executive, said: “The confirmation of first gas production from the Laggan-Tormore field is very welcome news at a challenging time for the UK oil and gas industry as a whole.
“Developing the field attracted billions of pounds of investment to the UK, employed thousands of people and required technological innovation over many years.
“Production from the field will supply a significant proportion of the UK’s gas needs, supporting energy security at a time of sustained dependence on gas as a fuel.
“Investment in Laggan –Tormore was made possible by the introduction of a tax allowance for deepwater gas developments several years ago.
“The significant economic contribution made by the project illustrates how changes to the tax regime can be a real enabler in maximising the economic benefit from our oil and gas reserves.”
Total E&P UK operates Laggan-Tormore with a 60% interest alongside partners DONG E&P (UK) Limited (20%) and SSE E&P UK Limited (20%).