The Cygnus gas field, operated by ENGIE E&P UK Limited and in which Centrica plc owns a 48.75% interest, has started production and is now helping to warm hundreds of thousands of homes and businesses across the country.
First gas has now flowed from Cygnus and into the National Transmission System, meaning Cygnus is on course to be the largest producing gas field in the UK North Sea in 2017.
At peak, the field will contribute 5 per cent of the UK’s total gas production, enough to heat the equivalent of 1.5million homes.
Work on the Cygnus project commenced in 2012 and before even starting production, Cygnus has already contributed £1.3billion to the UK economy, creating 5,000 jobs across the country during the construction phase alone.
While first gas from the field, 150 kilometres off the Lincolnshire coast, comes via the Cygnus Alpha platform, work is already underway to extend the field even further via fresh wells being drilled at the nearby Cygnus Bravo platform.
More than 80 per cent of the supply chain for the development of Cygnus was based in the UK, including construction of the platforms themselves, each weighing up to 4,400 tonnes and built in yards in Hartlepool and Fife.
Chris Cox, Managing Director of Centrica’s Exploration & Production business, said: “The Cygnus field is hugely important to the country’s energy supply, so we are proud that gas is now flowing from the field and into homes and businesses across the UK.
“This milestone was only possible thanks to the hard work and collaboration of the teams across Centrica, ENGIE E&P, Bayerngas and our supply chain partners.”
Gas from Cygnus will be processed at the Bacton Gas Terminal in Norfolk, providing a secure, domestic source of gas for the UK for years to come. The field is estimated to have 2P reserves of 636 billion cubic feet of gas.
Andy Samuel, Chief Executive of the Oil & Gas Authority, said: “Centrica, ENGIE E&P and Bayerngas have demonstrated an impressive collaborative effort in achieving first production from Cygnus. It represents a significant milestone for the Southern North Sea, delivering new volumes through existing infrastructure, utilising the UK’s skilled supply chain and helping create the right conditions for further developments.
“This is set to continue with the next phase of development from Cygnus Bravo which will bring additional capacity on stream in the future to help maximise economic recovery for the UK.”
Iain Wright, MP for Hartlepool and Chairman of the Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy Select Committee, said: “Hartlepool’s fabrication yards, employing more than 700 people, helped deliver the Cygnus project, which will now provide enough gas to heat the equivalent of 1.5million British homes.
“This achievement underlines just how important North East England is as an energy hub and I welcome the £1.3billion that Centrica and their partners have invested in this project, both in Hartlepool and right across the UK.”