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Last Updated: Tuesday, 10 April 2007, 09:54 GMT 10:54 UK
Shell investment 'to secure jobs'
St Fergus
The investment could safeguard the future of the St Fergus plant
A multi-million pound investment announced by oil giant Shell in three of its Scottish facilities could safeguard 300 jobs.

Improvements are being made to the St Fergus gas processing plant in Aberdeenshire and the Mossmorran plant in Fife.

The 350m investment will also upgrade the Braefoot Bay facility on the firth of Forth.

It is hoped the investment will create up to 100 contractor jobs.

'Vote of confidence'

The two gas processing plants had been running below capacity in recent years, but now Shell is to make a substantial investment in "re-fettling" St Fergus and Mossmorran to enable them to return to full capacity.

The investment has been seen as a major vote of confidence in the North Sea oil industry by one of its key players.

John Gallagher, vice president technical of Shell, said: "This is a prime example of Shell meeting the energy demand of the UK for today and in the future by extending the life of existing infrastructure and investing in the import of gas supplies.

"Shell remains committed to the UK and we hold a key strategic position in enabling security of energy supply to the UK through our core infrastructure."

This is a prime example of Shell meeting the energy demand of the UK for today and in the future
John Gallagher

The St Fergus terminal was developed after British Gas and Shell were granted planning permission in 1973.

The first natural gas supplies were piped ashore to the terminal, which lies seven miles north of Peterhead, four years later from the Frigg field.

The St Fergus plant cleans gas delivered from the Norwegian FLAGS and Fulmar Gas Pipeline and delivers the methane to the adjacent British Gas plant, where it serves the National Grid.

Ethane, propane and other liquid gases are separated by a cryogenic process and sent to Mossmorran, on the outskirts of Cowdenbeath, by an overland pipeline.

After being processed at Mossmorran, the gases are piped to the nearby Braefoot Bay deep water facility, on the northern side of the Firth of Forth, where they are loaded onto tankers.

How the investment could help the oil and gas industry

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