GDF SUEZ as operator with partners Centrica and Bayerngas have announced sanctioning of the $2.19 billion (GBP 1.4 billion) Cygnus project to develop the sixth largest gas field in the UK Southern North Sea. GDF SUEZ (38.75%) will operate the field with partners Centrica (48.75%) and Bayerngas (12.5%).
Initial contracts worth $587 million (GBP 375 million) were signed Monday by GDF SUEZ on behalf of the partnership to kick start the project. The majority of this $527.6 million (GBP 337 million) will be invested directly in the UK generating an initial 1,200 jobs.
In total around $2.19 billion (GBP 1.4 billion) will be invested in the Cygnus project, 80 percent of which is expected to be awarded to UK-based companies creating 4,000 direct and indirect jobs over the next four years during the construction phase.
The Cygnus field is the largest discovery in the Southern Gas Basin in the last 25 years.
Production is expected to start in late 2015. The field is expected to meet demand for nearly one and a half million homes at peak production, accounting for around 5 percent of the UK's gas production.
The partnership welcomed the recent field allowance for new large shallow water gas fields by the UK Government, which provided the certainty and confidence to proceed with the development. Major contracts will be awarded progressively.
"Cygnus, along with the Juliet development which we announced in June, are major projects for the UK gas industry and demonstrates our commitment to the North Sea. I am delighted to announce that we have signed these initial contracts which demonstrate our commitment to the UK supply chain. We are proud that Cygnus will bring substantial jobs and investment to the UK. We look forward to working with our partners and contractors to develop this very significant project," Executive Vice-President of GDF SUEZ Jean-Marie Dauger said.
"Today's announcement represents a significant boost to the UK's long term energy security and creates much needed jobs. For Centrica, which handles around a third of the UK's gas and supplies half of its homes, this is an extremely important project as we look to unlock remaining gas in the North Sea and secure UK gas for our customers," Centrica Chief Executive Sam Laidlaw said.
"Cygnus represents a major investment for Bayerngas UK and complements other field developments, in Norway and Denmark, being undertaken by our parent company, Bayerngas Norge. We look forward to working closely with GDF SUEZ and Centrica to ensure the project is delivered according to plan," Bayerngas UK's Managing Director Gerry Harrison commented.
"The North Sea remains a vital source of the nation's energy security and our expertise is renowned the world over. The Government is determined to maintain the best possible investment environment to ensure we capitalize fully on this national asset. The go ahead for the Cygnus field is terrific news, and will contribute substantially to the UK's gas needs and support thousands of high skilled jobs," UK Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change Edward Davey said.
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