Hendry approved the development of Apache’s Bacchus oil field as he visited Aberdeen and ExxonMobil’s Beryl oil platform in the North Sea.
The Bacchus field is operated by Apache, which owns 70 per cent of it. Shell owns a further 20 per cent and Endeavour Energy has a 10 per cent equity.
James House, managing director of Apache North Sea, said: ’Bacchus, along with our Maule discovery, are examples of fields that can be developed economically, using existing infrastructure at Apache’s Forties Field. These projects also demonstrate that the government’s incentives are encouraging the development of smaller fields in the UK sector of the North Sea.’
The Bacchus oil field, located in the Central North Sea, has estimated reserves of 18 million barrels of oil equivalent.
Hendry also announced record levels of interest in new developments in the North Sea as 356 blocks have been applied for in the latest licensing round – the largest number of blocks applied for since the first licensing round was launched in 1964.