Oil and gas firm Endeavour International Corp has received approval from the UK Department of Energy and Climate Change (DECC) for the Rochelle field development plan.

The approval for block 15/27 in the Central North Sea, now known as East Rochelle, represents first phase of the development of the Greater Rochelle area.

The current plan calls for the subsea development to be linked by a 30km pipeline to production facilities on the Scott Platform, with first production planned for the second half of 2012.

Endeavour chairman, president and CEO William Transier said that with the added discovery announced in October 2010, the company plans to integrate West Rochelle into this development plan, as phase two, with production estimated to begin in 2012.

Endeavour is the operator of East Rochelle and holds a 55.6% working interest in the development, while Nexen Petroleum holds the remaining interest.