The company said that the Islay gas field has estimated reserves of near to 17 million barrels of oil equivalent and an estimated peak gas production rate of 2.5 million standard cubic metres per day plus associated condensates. The reserve lies in a water depth of 120mt.

The Islay field is located in Block 3/15 of the UK sector and partly across the median line in Blocks 29/6a and 29/6c of the Norwegian sector.

Total is the operator and sole owner of the Islay field as well as the Alwyn North, Dunbar, Grant, Ellon, Nuggets, Forvie North and Jura fields in the same region. Although a separate field, Islay is just 3km east of Jura and will be connected to Total’s Alwyn facility with first gas planned for the second half of 2011.

Yves-Louis Darricarrere, president of Total Exploration & Production, said: “We are delighted to have received the go-ahead to develop the Islay field. Along with our recently launched Laggan-Tormore, it forms the basis of an exciting portfolio of new production opportunities that is further strengthening Total’s presence in the North Sea and on the UK Continental Shelf.”