Wilson gives green light to oilfield development

Energy Minister Brian Wilson has given the go-ahead for two British companies to redevelop the first ever UK North Sea oil field, Ardmore, creating 100 new jobs.

Activity on Ardmore, formerly known as Argyll, came to an end in 1992 when operations became uneconomic and the field was decommissioned.It has been lying fallow ever since.

Now Tuscan and Acorn, its new operators, have made use of the latest well technology, which will lead to a 2-year project to recover 21 million barrels of oil that were previously unreachable.

‘Looking afresh at our national resource has revealed new oil and gas in the past few years,’ said Mr Wilson. ‘Although in international terms the North Sea is a mature area, there are still many opportunities for exploration in fallow discoveries and blocks, brown fields and new areas.’

Argyll was opened by the then Energy Minister, Tony Benn, in 1975. During the lifespan of the field less than 40% of the oil was retrieved. It is predicted that new oil will flow from the newly named Ardmore field towards the end of 2003.

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