Maersk has got a green light for production on the largest gas field found in the North Sea for a decade.
The UK Oil & Gas Authority has given the Danish energy company the go-ahead on the Culzean gas field, which is expected to hold some 250m barrels of oil.
Once it reaches peak production, it could produce gas to cover up to five per cent of UK demand.
The company has said it expects the project to support up to 6,000 jobs, creating at least 400 directly.
The Culzean gas field was discovered in 2008. Now that production has been approved, gas will start flowing in 2019, expected to continue for at least 13 years.
Maersk Oil said their plans for the Culzean field followed on the £1.3bn North Sea tax cuts announced by Chancellor George Osborne in his March Budget.
Today’s news comes as a rare bit of good news for the embattled North Sea area, which has been hit particularly hard by plummeting oil prices and drooping production figures. Since peaking at 4.5m barrels of oil equivalent per day (boe/d) in 2000, output has crashed down to just 1.42m boe/d last year.