The North Sea is the gift that keeps on giving for Total, an analyst has said.
The French oil major has just announced first gas from its huge Culzean gas field, 140 miles east of Aberdeen.
It comes on the heels of Total’s involvement in major discoveries at Glendronach, west of Shetland, and Glengorm, operated by Cnooc and located in the central North Sea.
When it was discovered holding 1.4 trillion cubic feet of gas in 2008, Culzean was the biggest UK gas find since Elgin – also operated by Total – in 1991.
At peak, the Culzean will account for about 10% of UK gas production, and cover around 5% of British gas demand.
Glenn Morrall, a research associate with Wood Mackenzie’s North Sea upstream team, said: “For the French major, production from Culzean will play a big part in it being the biggest UK gas producer for the foreseeable future.
“The UK continues to deliver for Total, with the Culzean news following on from recent exploration success as an operator at Glendronach and partner at Glengorm (operated by Cnooc).”
Mr Morrall also said Total’s experience of operating challenging high pressure, high temperature (HP/HT) fields makes it the ideal operator of Culzean.
“Culzean is the third UK project to start production this year, but the biggest by a long way,” he said.
“It shows that there is still appetite for big developments in UK waters.
“There is some risk, though. Culzean gas is HP/HT, which makes it more challenging to operate successfully.
“However, Total brings a wealth of experience in operating HP/HT fields, for example at the nearby Elgin-Franklin fields.”