North Sea Islay Production To Start In March

LONDON (Dow Jones Newswires), Feb. 20, 2012

Total SA (TOT) expects to start production at the Islay gas field in the northern North Sea next month, the head of the French oil major's Northern Europe operations said Monday.

Patrice de Vivies also said Total is finalizing the sales of some of its non-controlling interests in the UK North Sea, including the BG Group (BG.LN)-operated Armada fields.

Total expects to expend twice as much labor in the U.K. North Sea this year than in 2011, as it hastens development of its Laggan Tormore project west of the Shetland Islands, said de Vivies.

"We will spend 12 million man hours in 2012 compared to 6 million in 2011," said de Vivies.

Total plans to spend $16 billion on the U.K. and Norwegian North Sea over the next five years, with about 40% of the company's production in the region to come from new developments by 2017. 

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