The UK operator Centrica Energy is working on a project to increase natural gas output from Morecambe Bay.
The company has said that the project is set to take Centrica Energy’s current investment in the region past the £100 million mark and unlock new gas reserves.
In a statement issued Friday, Centrica said that work to unlock new reserves in the North Morecambe field would start in July, unearthing up to an additional 8.8 billion cubic feet of gas. Putting things into perspective, Centrica said this amount of gas would be enough to heat nearly 200,000 UK homes for a year.
The £16 million project, which will create 80 jobs for the duration of the campaign, involves installing new equipment on the North Morecambe platform, which will use the high pressure of the nearby Rhyl field to boost the pressure and production from the wells in the North Morecambe field, the operator added.
Andy Bevington, Director of UK Operated Assets for Centrica Energy, said: “We have been producing gas from Morecambe Bay for three decades, and we want to continue our operations in the region into the 2020s and beyond.
“Fresh investment in innovative technology like the North Morecambe Project will breathe new life into one of the most important hubs in our business.”
While the project will create 80 jobs for the duration of the campaign, a 150-strong team will be working on the development in total. More than 60 people will be based onshore, with a further 90 people working offshore on the installation at any one time.
The North Morecambe platform is normally unmanned, however, Centrica has said, the teams will be working from a jack-up barge, the Seajacks Kraken that will be arriving in Morecambe Bay later this month. The use of the self-propelled barge means the project teams can “walk to work” across a gangway connecting the barge to the platform, rather than relying on daily helicopter flights offshore, Centrica added.