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Greater Laggan: Pioneering Exploration in the Atlantic Margin

The start-up of gas production from the Laggan-Tormore fields in February 2016 underlines Total’s commitment to gas as the lower carbon fuel vital for the world’s energy needs.  It represents an extraordinary feat of engineering in an area previously thought too technologically challenging to exploit.

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    An aerial view of the Shetland Gas Plant
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    Shetland Gas Plant
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    Discussion at the peat stores
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    Shetland Gas Plant
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    Shetland - an area of outstanding natural beauty
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    The Greater Laggan Area

A Uniquely Challenging Environment

The Laggan-Tormore fields lie 125km north-west of the Shetland Islands – a region geographically closer to the North Atlantic than the North Sea. Here, in water depths that descend rapidly from 120 to 600 metres and beyond, Total used the longest ‘subsea to shore’ development ever seen in UK waters.

By drawing on Total’s worldwide expertise, four wells have been drilled in the UK’s deepest, coldest and harshest waters, sending gas to the newly built Shetland Gas Plant, before exporting processed gas to the UK mainland.


A Model Development

Over 2,000 people from various nationalities came together to build the new plant and the surrounding infrastructure. This multicultural approach illustrates Total’s ability to attract and develop its people, ensuring a project’s success by bringing the best skills together. The Team continues to promote Total’s safety culture through our 12 Golden Rules and is committed to the local community.

Shetland Gas Plant Manager Christophe Aubin quotes “We knew the success of Laggan-Tormore would be measured not only in how we delivered this large scale complex project, but also in the way we engaged with the local community and stakeholders, and how we looked after and protected the environment which is quite unique in Shetland”.  

Total worked closely with local archeologists who describe the relationship as ‘a model as to how development and archeology can work hand in hand’, and two purpose built peat stores, developed in close co-operation with the Scottish Environmental Protection Agency, will ensure the local landscape will be returned to its natural state once the plant is decommissioned.


Continued Focus

The £3.5 billion investment in this area highlights Total’s continued commitment to the UK as a major strategic area. Along with partners Dong Energy and SSE E&P UK Limited, a further £1 billion investment is currently underway to develop two additional fields – Edradour and Glenlivet.

With an estimated operational life of at least 20 years and production of 90,000 boe per day, the development of The Greater Laggan area is a trailblazing example of Total’s hub growth strategy in action.


Securing Future Energy Supplies to the UK

The UK Department of Energy and Climate Change estimates that as much as 17% of the UK’s remaining yet to find gas reserves are located West of Shetland. Until now, only oil was recoverable from this harsh frontier area.

Now, with the infrastructure Total has built, the region is open to gas for the first time.  Much of what was previously stranded can now be developed, boosting both the UK’s economy and energy security.


Please see the full Press Release on first gas start-up.

Read about environmetal innovations at the Shetland Gas Plant.


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