MP welcomes Cygnus Project's 250 jobs boost for Hartlepool

Iain Wright, Shadow Minister for Industry and MP for Hartlepool today welcomed the 250 extra jobs created by the Cygnus gas development.

Iain Wright, Shadow Minister for Industry and MP for Hartlepool today welcomed the 250 extra jobs created by the Cygnus gas development.

Cygnus, which represents an investment of around £1.4billion by operator GDF SUEZ E&P UK and partners Centrica Energy and Bayerngas, is the largest southern gas basin discovery for 25 years and at peak will produce enough gas to meet the needs of 1.5million UK homes. 80% of the project spend is being invested in the UK.

The additional jobs have been created by Heerema Fabrication Group at its yard near Hartlepool, where the company has nearly completed work on the 1,640-tonne wellhead topsides for Cygnus Alpha. At peak, around 700 people will now be working on additional infrastructure for Cygnus at the yard in 2014 and 2015.

During a visit to the yard today, the MP had the opportunity to view progress on the development and meet some of the site workers, including engineers, welders and fabrication workers. The Cygnus development is creating more than 4,000 jobs across the supply chain in total.

Iain Wright, Shadow Minister for Industry and Labour MP for Hartlepool said: “The Cygnus Alpha wellhead platform is a great example of British engineering and I welcome the extra 250 jobs that have been created here, bringing the total number to 700. The completion of this impressive platform marks an important milestone in the project.

“We need to ensure that the skills, supply chain and industrial capability we have continue to make Britain a leading player in the world for this type of engineering and manufacturing. A long-term industrial strategy will help us achieve that.”

John Rogers, Cygnus Project Manager, GDF SUEZ E&P UK, said: “Cygnus is a flagship for the UK’s excellence in offshore design, engineering and construction. The project is creating 4,000 direct and indirect jobs across the UK during construction and will deliver 5% of UK domestic gas production at its peak. Topside fabrication is progressing safely and to time and we are on track for the first sailaways and installations at the end of March and April respectively.”

Greg McKenna, Director of Non-Operated Assets at Centrica Energy E&P, said: “We were delighted to host a senior Shadow Minister to the yard today and update him on the progress of this major project. The Cygnus development represents an important source of UK jobs, and will have a significant role to play in providing gas to around 1.5 million UK homes.”

Gerry Harrison, Managing Director, Bayerngas UK, commented: “Although we have many more months of construction and commissioning ahead of us, we are maintaining our schedule and seeing good progress. We support each of the construction sites in their focus on safe delivery of the project.”

Koos-Jan van Brouwershaven, Chief Executive Officer of Heerema Fabrication Group commented: “It has been a great opportunity for us to welcome the Shadow Minister at our Hartlepool yard and to show him the cutting edge work we are doing to support our clients and the UK’s offshore industry to deliver a high quality and safe product. The magnitude of the Cygnus project and the nearly completed first Cygnus topside at our yard showed him how important it is to keep the offshore construction industry here, and as a result jobs, expertise and to increase local businesses in the Hartlepool area.”

Cygnus is located in the Southern North Sea, 150 kilometres off the coast of Lincolnshire. It has gross 2P reserves of approximately 18 billion cubic metres. First gas is targeted for late 2015.


In August 2012, GDF SUEZ E&P UK and its partners, Centrica Energy and Bayerngas, appointed Heerema Fabrication Group’s Hartlepool yard to build three topsides, a compression module, two bridges and a flare tower for four offshore platforms for the Cygnus project in the Southern North Sea.

Fabrication of the 1,640 tonne wellhead topsides is due to complete in March, with loadout scheduled for later that month. The 4,400 tonne process and utilities topsides for the Alpha platform are also under construction, as well as the 3,500 tonne wellhead topsides for the Bravo platform, both with a scheduled delivery in the first half of 2015.

Due to be in production by the end of 2015 and led by operator GDF SUEZ E&P UK (38.75%) with partners Centrica (48.75%) and Bayerngas (12.5%), the Cygnus field is the largest discovery in the Southern North Sea in 25 years. Peak gas production from 2016 is expected to meet the demand from almost 1.5 million homes in the country.

  • The detailed development concept for the field consists of two drilling centres, four platforms and initially ten development wells; the planned export route is through the ETS pipeline system to the Bacton gas terminal in North Norfolk.
  • At plateau in 2016, Cygnus will be the UK's second largest producing gas field and will account for about 9% of the GDF SUEZ Group’s global gas production.
  • UK companies already benefiting from contracts for the Cygnus project include:
    • Heerema Fabrication Group’s Hartlepool yard for the fabrication and commissioning of the Alpha Wellhead, Production Utilities (PU) platform topsides and Compression modules, including 2 bridges and flare tower, and the Bravo Wellhead platform topsides - the third consecutive project Centrica Energy has worked on with Heerema in Hartlepool.
    • Burntisland Fabrication (BiFab) for the engineering, procurement and construction of the Cygnus jackets and piles, as well as the construction of the Quarters & Utilities (QU) platform. This work will be undertaken at their facilities in Methil and Burntisland in Fife, Scotland, and Arnish on the Isle of Lewis.
    • AMEC Group Ltd for the detailed engineering design contract. The work is progressing at their Farringdon office in London. Also been awarded the hook-up and commissioning support contract.
    • Saipem Ltd for the installation of the Main 50km export pipeline from the platform to the ETS line, the diving works and the installation of the 7km infield line from the Bravo Wellhead platform to the Alpha Complex. Project run from London office.
    • Ensco Plc, headquartered in London, for the Ensco 80 rig to drill the 10 horizontal wells required for this development.
    • Seaway Heavy Lifting Contractors Ltd for the provision of transport and installation services for the jackets, platforms and subsea structures.
    • Isleburn in Invergordon for the fabrication of the subsea structures, WYE manifold and SSIV.
    • Bristows Group for the provision of a new AW189 helicopter for transporting personnel to and from the platforms.
Media contacts


Kerry Birse

Phone: +44 (0) 1224 269979 Email:

Jackie Robinson

Phone: +44 (0) 7711 281915 Email:

Centrica Energy

Suzanne Edmond

Phone: +44 (0) 7769 542 836 Email:

Ross Davidson

Phone: +44 (0) 7557 617 098 Email:

Bayerngas UK

Gerry Harrison

Phone: +44 (0) 1959

Heerema Fabrication Group

Jeanny de Leeuw

Phone: +31 (0)6 51897062 Email:


GDF SUEZ E&P UK Ltd is an increasingly significant player in oil and gas exploration and production in the UK Continental Shelf. Since entering the region in 1997, the company has built up a substantial portfolio of assets in the Central and Southern North Sea, and West of Shetland, comprising more than 50 licenses, 20 as operator. The company entered the UK onshore market in October 2013 when it agreed to acquire a 25% share in 13 licences located in Cheshire and the East Midlands from Dart Energy, which is operator of the licences.

GDF SUEZ E&P UK is the operator of the Cygnus development, one of the most significant undeveloped gas fields in the North Sea and employs more than 300 staff and contractors in offices in London and Aberdeen. Cygnus is located in the Southern North Sea, 150 kilometres off the coast of Lincolnshire. It has gross 2P reserves of approximately 18 billion cubic metres. First gas is expected in late 2015.

As part of GDF SUEZ, the global energy group, we share a common vision and a commitment to excellence in energy. The GDF SUEZ group is actively involved in exploration and production activity in 16 countries.

Twitter @gdfsuez_ep_uk


GDF SUEZ develops its businesses (power, natural gas, energy services) around a model based on responsible growth to take up today’s major energy and environmental challenges: meeting energy needs, ensuring the security of supply, fighting against climate change and maximizing the use of resources. The Group provides highly efficient and innovative solutions to individuals, cities and businesses by relying on diversified gas-supply sources, flexible and low-emission power generation as well as unique expertise in four key sectors: independent power production, liquefied natural gas, renewable energy and energy efficiency services.GDF SUEZ employs 138,200people worldwide and achieved revenues of €82 billion in 2012. The Group is listed on the Paris, Brussels and Luxembourg stock exchanges and is represented in the main international indices: CAC 40, BEL 20, DJ Euro Stoxx 50, Euronext 100, FTSE Eurotop 100, MSCI Europe and Euronext Vigeo (World 120, Eurozone 120, Europe 120 and France 20).

About Centrica

Centrica is a top 30 FTSE 100 energy company with a growing exploration and production business, with operations in the UK and Netherlands, Norway and Western Canada. The North Sea is a key part of our portfolio and we will help maximise its potential, as we look to grow across the Atlantic Basin. Internationally, we have established a significant operating portfolio in Canada and Norway and we have ambitious plans to grow our production to 275,000 barrels of oil equivalent per day in the next three to five years. For further information, see

About Bayerngas UK Ltd

Bayerngas UK Ltd is a wholly-owned subsidiary of the Bayerngas Norge AS Group. Bayerngas has upstream operations in Norway, Denmark and the UK. These include interests in 6 producing oil and gas fields, 3 fields under development and 73 exploration and production licenses. The Group has 90 employees with offices near Oslo, London and Copenhagen. The Group was formed in 2006 and is owned by public energy and utility companies in Austria, Germany and Switzerland. The shareholding companies are financially strong and their ownership in upstream activities secures them access to gas throughout the whole value chain. For more information, see

About Heerema Fabrication Group

Heerema Fabrication Group (HFG), headquartered in Zwijndrecht, the Netherlands, is a leading engineering and fabrication contractor for large and complex offshore structures to the global oil & gas and energy industry. HFG owns three large fabrication locations of which one in the United Kingdom (Hartlepool) and two in the Netherlands (Vlissingen and Zwijndrecht), and an engineering activity in the Netherlands (Zwijndrecht). In addition, HFG owns a fabrication facility in Poland (Opole) for smaller (pre)fabrication work. Heerema Fabrication Group employs over 1,000 people and is part of the Heerema Group. For further information, see