The UK government has approved Premier Oil’s field development plan for the Catcher area development in the Central North Sea.
Premier revealed on Thursday the UK Department of Energy & Climate Change had approved the plan which involves the development of three fields- Catcher, Varadero and Burgman.
Premier’s plan will see 22 subsea wells drilled at the fields, consisting of 14 producers and eight water injectors, which will then be tied back to a leased floating production, storage and offloading vessel which is being supplied by BW Offshore.
"Having discovered Catcher in 2010, we are extremely pleased to have brought the Catcher area through the development approval process,” Premier chief executive Simon Lockett said.
“Once on-stream this project, which has been facilitated by the government's small field allowances, will underpin our growing cash flows."
UK Minister of State for Energy Michael Fallon said the development was good news for the industry as it showed there continued to be “an extraordinary” level of interest in the North Sea.
“The project represents over £1 billion ($1.7 billion) of investment and almost all of the subsea expertise and equipment needed for this development is being supplied by British companies right across the country," he added.
Premier has awarded all major service contracts for the project and is targeting first oil from the development by mid-2017.
Premier operates the Catcher development, which lies in Central North Sea Block 28/9, with a 50% stake and is partnered by Cairn Energy (30%) and Wintershall (20%).