(UPI) – French energy company Total said Wednesday its plans for North Sea oil and gas development were backed by a British government expecting sector revitalization.
The company said it could confirm the British Department of Energy and Climate Change approved field development plans for the Edradour oil and Glenlivet gas projects west of the Shetland Islands.
“The approval of the field development plans by the U.K. government allows Total and its partner DONG [Denmark’s largest energy company] to continue to develop the project according to the concepts outlined in 2014,” Total said in a statement. “The project is expected to add reserves of more than 65 million barrels of oil equivalent.”
A budget plan outlined last week in London is aimed at boosting exploration for new oil and gas reserves in British territorial waters. Ian Wood, who led the drive to add vitality to the sector, said the new package should help stimulate investor confidence in a North Sea oil and gas industry coping with the decline of older fields.
Environmental activists said the budget plan offers too many tax breaks to the oil and gas sector to the detriment of the push for a low-carbon economy. Though the British government has expressed support for renewable energy, the British Friends of the Earth said it’s been more of a “half-hearted sideshow.”