Min. Wicks: Gas Find Highlights Aberdeen's Role in Securing Energy Supplies

"Aberdeen is central to securing our energy supplies for many years to come" according to Energy Minister Malcolm Wicks, as he gave Ministerial approval to an important gas discovery today.

Total E&P UK Ltd's Jura discovery represents more than 170 million barrels of oil equivalent (boe) of proved and probable gas reserves and is expected to produce around 45,000 boe per day. Along with other smaller discoveries in the region, Jura should play a significant part in ensuring that production in the Alwyn area continues for another 20 years.

Malcolm was speaking in Aberdeen on one of his first UK industry visits since being back in the energy job. The visit enabled him to meet several of the key players in the energy sector.

His visit included:

* A tour of Chevron's new offices at the Hill at Rubislaw and a visit to their Regional Energy Technology Centre - one of two global technology centres to be created by Chevron. Providing research, development and technical services for the company's worldwide operations;

* A meeting with Senior Vice President, northern Europe for Total E&P, Michel Contie, to sign approval for the Jura development;

* A visit to major offshore contractor Petrofac to discuss their latest expansion plans with Managing Director Gordon East; and,

* A visit to the Combined Heat and Power station at Seaton to see how this innovative project is supplying heat to the local community, including residents at nearby sheltered housing. The scheme has been developed by Aberdeen Heat and Power, a not-for-profit organization established by Aberdeen City Council.

Energy Minister Malcolm Wicks said:

"Aberdeen is central to securing our energy supplies for many years to come. That is why it is one of my first industry visits since being back in the energy job.

"This is a key time for the energy industry; securing reliable energy supplies and tackling climate change are the defining challenges of our time and are crucial to business success. Aberdeen, as a centre of expertise, will play a key role in meeting these challenges."

Speaking about the approval for the Total E&P UK Ltd's project Malcolm said:

"This important discovery underlines the potential and long term future of the UK Continental Shelf. Jura will substantially extend the life of Total's Alwyn installation and is just the kind of project we are trying to encourage. The North Sea remains crucial to securing our energy supplies for many years to come and I am delighted to approve this project."