Total Starts Gas Production West of Shetland

Elisabeth Proust, Total’s UK managing director

French energy firm Total said it has started production from the Laggan-Tormore gas fields in the West of Shetland area.

The fields are expected to supply up to 2 million households — roughy 8% of the UK’s energy needs.

“There is a future for the offshore industry in the UK, as long as some companies are ready to take the risk and can adapt to the changing environment,” said Elisabeth Proust (pictured), Total’s UK managing director, in an interview with Energy Voice.

The £3.5 billion Laggan-Tormore project is behind schedule and over budget — but the massive gas fields will produce up to 90,000 barrels of oil equivalent per day and are crucial to the security of the UK’s future energy supplies.

“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,” said Arnaud Breuillac, Total’s president of exploration & production.

The new onshore Shetland Gas Plant has a capacity of 500 million standard cubic feet per day.

Total has a 60% interest in Laggan-Tormore, while Perth-based utility SSE and Denmark’s Dong Energy both have a 20% stake.

Proust added: “It’s important to realise that decisions to make investments … are made on a 20 to 30 year timescale.

“We cannot make decisions about investments on the basis of the price on any given day. Instead we look at a whole range of price scenarios.

“Now, naturally I would prefer prices to be higher, but I am confident that as long as we control our costs and maintain production we will create value out of Laggan-Tormore.”