Page last updated at 16:16 GMT, Monday, 14 September 2009 17:16 UK

New gas field found off Shetland

Gas ring
The size of the gas field will be calculated in the next fortnight

A new gas field has been discovered under waters to the west of Shetland.

The size of the find within the Glenlivet field is yet to become clear, but the Aberdeen-based company behind it said it could be significant.

Faroe Petroleum, who made the find along with operator and partner Dong E&P, said it appeared to be a high-quality reservoir.

It is also within 10 miles of a gas-gathering pipeline network being planned for the Laggan field by Total.

The Laggan field is believed to have about one trillion cubic metres of gas, which is seen as having a growing significance for supply as other gas fields in British waters are depleted and the country becomes more dependent on imports.

Glenlivet is also the site of a smaller find, called Laxford, and a number of other exploration targets.

'High quality'

The prospects to the west of Shetland are seen as more challenging than the North Sea because they are in deeper water and face tougher weather conditions.

The area has been more successful in oil exploration, with the Foinaven, Schiehallion and Clair fields in production.

The new Glenlivet find is in 1,430ft of water, with the well reaching a total depth of 7,654ft on Friday.

Within the next two days, the exploring companies will decide on drilling a side track well to check the extent of their find. A calculation of the size is expected within two weeks.

Graham Stewart, chief executive of Faroe Petroleum, said: "Glenlivet is Faroe's first Atlantic Margin discovery and confirms the presence of a significant accumulation of hydrocarbons in a high-quality reservoir".

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