The UK’s Oil and Gas Authority has given approval for the Pierce project development in the Central North Sea.

Pierce is a joint venture (JV) between Shell (92.52%) and Ithaca Energy (7.48%).

Upon receiving the permit, Shell and its partner Ithaca Energy have taken a final investment decision (FID) on the Pierce project.

The move will enable Shell to start exporting gas from the Pierce field.

OGA Central North Sea area manager Scott Robertson said: “We are pleased to approve this development, which follows the approvals last year of the Shearwater-hosted Arran, Fram, Columbus and gas export projects.

“This latest Pierce Gas de-pressurisation development secures approval of another component of the Central Graben Area Plan, developed by the OGA and industry collaborating to maximise economic recovery from this region of the North Sea.”

Development of the Pierce field is expected to take place from 2020 to 2021.

The project will involve making modifications to the existing floating production, support and offloading (FPSO) vessel, the Haewene Brim, and installation of a sub-sea gas export line from the FPSO to the SEGAL pipeline.

Upon achieving commercial production, the field will produce more than 30,000 barrels of oil equivalent per day (boe/d).

Shell UK Upstream vice-president and director Steve Phimister said: “This important development of the Pierce field will allow us to unlock additional gas reserves for the UK’s homes and businesses, and value for our shareholders.

“It is Shell’s eighth final investment decision in the UK Continental Shelf since the start of 2018.”

In August, Royal Dutch Shell subsidiary Shell Offshore took the FID for the PowerNap project in a bid to bolster its deepwater portfolio in the US Gulf of Mexico region.