Aker Solutions wins £70m contract for BP's Schiehallion field
The Aberdeen arm of a major oil service company has won a £70m contract to help redevelop one the UK's largest oilfields.
Aker Solutions will build and supply all subsea controls equipment for BP's Schiehallion field and the adjacent Loyal field.
The company is already one of the largest employers in the north east of Scotland, with more than 2,700 staff.
It has previously announced plans to create a further 500 posts by May 2014.
The Schiehallion and Loyal fields are estimated to contain a further 450 million barrels of recoverable oil, and a £3bn upgrade is under way which will extend production to 2035 - or possibly beyond.
Due to the water depth in the area, Schiehallion is entirely reliant on subsea production technology and is collected on a floating production, storage and offloading vessel.
Alan Brunnen, head of Aker Solutions' subsea business, said: "West of Shetland is an exciting area for oil and gas and we are delighted to continue our successful relationship with BP by playing such a significant role in the continuing development of this project.
"Our subsea business continues to grow from strength to strength, enabling our clients to operate in deeper and harsher environments. Our subsea controls centre of excellence is based in Aberdeen, so it is fantastic to be able to service such a high profile project in its local market."
Welcoming the deal, Scottish First Minister Alex Salmond said it was a "massive vote of confidence" in the North Sea oil and gas industry.
He added: "Projected investment in Scotland's oil sector is already set to reach £13bn in 2013 and it is clear that, with announcements such as this, major players in the industry see North Sea oil as a safe bet for the future.
"Aker Solutions is already a huge employer in Aberdeen and I have seen for myself the world-class expertise that their employees bring to the subsea technology necessary to exploit our vast oil resources. It is excellent news that this contract win will help the company continue its expansion that will see an additional 500 jobs based in Aberdeen".
A BP spokesperson said: "This award to Aker's facility in Aberdeen is the latest in a series of contracts to UK-based companies to supply subsea equipment and expertise to the Quad 204 project.
"Around £1bn of subsea contracts have been announced in the last year for this project alone, with the majority of activity occurring in the UK."