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Posted by Neil Brunskill
The Athena oil field, located in the outer Moray Firth area, has now begun producing oil, its operators have announced.
Official operations started at the facility yesterday (May 28th) and work will now get underway to bring all its services online and up to full capacity.
It is thought that as many as 22,000 barrels a day could be produced on-site, which may be good news for heating oil customers in terms of bringing prices down.
Ithaca Energy owns 22.5 per cent of Athena and said it is using a "research-led, knowledge-based approach" including a 3D seismic database to find oil.
Mark Groves Gidney of Trapoil, which has a 15 per cent stake in the project, said: "It is most encouraging that production has now commenced."
Athena was first discovered in 1991 and is situated at a water depth of 130 metres. Ten exploration wells have been drilled in the surrounding block since 1978.
It is estimated that proved and probable reserves within Athena are around 24.4 million barrels.
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