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Oil and gas giant Total has made a large UK gas discovery at its Glendronach field, off the coast of the Shetland Islands in the North Sea.

The company said that initial tests on the prospect verified good reservoir quality, permeability and well production deliverability. Total estimates the capacity of the Glendronach prospect to be around one trillion cubic feet (1tcf) of gas.

Glendronach could also be developed very quickly at low cost by tying the field to existing infrastructure at the Edradour field nearby.

Total’s exploration and production division president Arnaud Breuillac said in a statement: “Glendronach is a significant discovery for Total which gives us access to additional gas resources in one of our core areas and validates our exploration strategy.”

The company added that the discovery will boost the longevity of the West of Shetland gas fields, including the Laggan, Tomore, Edradour and Glenlivet prospects, and that of the Shetland Gas Plant. Combined, the West of Shetland fields supply around 7% of UK gas consumption.

The Glendronach well was drilled to a final depth of 4,312m deep and Total found a gas column of 42m in the high-quality Lower Cretaceous reservoir.

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Total is currently negotiating new contracts with trade union Unite following worker strikes on some of its North Sea oil and gas platforms against a proposed new rota system, which would have compelled employees to spend an extra week offshore.

After the new UK gas discovery, company shares rose by 0.8% to €55.69 as of 24 September.

The energy giant has a 60% stake in Glendronach. Ineos E&P UK and SSE E&P UK each hold a 20% stake.

SSE wholesale director Martin Pibworth said: “This discovery represents a major addition to SSE’s recoverable gas resources. Gas production assets are a natural complement to SSE’s interests in gas-fired power generation and gas supply to business customers.

“They are expected to add to SSE’s earnings from gas production in due course. In the meantime, we will continue to support exploration and appraisal activities around our existing assets.”