Hurricane Energy has secured production consent for its Lancaster field development plan offshore Shetland.
The consent for the Early Production System (EPS) is described as an “essential step” in Hurricane meeting its target of first oil from the field in the first half of 2019.
The EPS is expected to deliver around 17,000 barrels of oil per day.
In July Hurricane raised $520 million (£385 million), including $300 million (£222 million) from a share issue and $220 million (£163 million) from a convertible bond offer to fund development of an early production system (ESP) to test the Lancaster field ahead of full development.
Lancaster is estimated to house more than 500 million barrels of recoverable oil of more than 2.3 billion barrels estimated to be in place.
Hurricane also announced a huge oil discovery at the Halifax Field west of Shetland in March, which it believes is linked to the Lancaster field 30 miles away within the Greater Lancaster Area (GLA).
Commenting on securing production consent for Lancaster, Hurricane Energy chief executive Dr Robert Trice, said: “I am delighted that we have been granted consent for the Lancaster field development plan for the EPS phase of the Lancaster Field.
“With funding and regulatory approvals in hand, we can now fully focus on delivering the project within the target timeline of first oil in 1H 2019.
“The Lancaster EPS is not only an essential step in planning for the full field development of the Company’s Rona Ridge assets, but also represents a substantial development in its own right, with planned production of 17,000 barrels of oil per day.
“I would like to thank the Oil and Gas Authority, the Department for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy, and the Health & Safety Executive for their support in our achieving the first approval of a field development plan for a UK basement field.
“This is an important step in demonstrating the potential of basement West of Shetland and in the UKCS more generally.”
Hurricane said it will provide further updates as it moves towards engineering, procurement, installation and commissioning (EPIC) activities.