Total is to begin the phase II development of the West Franklin field, offshore UK, as approved by the UK Government’s Department of Energy and Climate Change (DECC).

The West Franklin field is located in blocks 29 / 5b and 29 / 4d in the UK sector of the North Sea, about 240km east of Aberdeen, Scotland.

The phase II development is aimed at producing estimated reserves of 85 million barrels of oil equivalent (boe).

Work on the project will include the drilling of three wells and the installation of a new platform tied back to the Elgin / Franklin facilities, and will require an investment of $1bn.

Production is expected to start by the end of 2013 and should reach 40,000boe per day.