North Sea gas discovery hailed as biggest in a decade
It's estimated Chinese firm Cnooc could recover 250 million barrels of oil equivalent.
Chinese oil company Cnooc has announced a major new gas discovery in the central North Sea.
The Glengorm project could recover an estimated 250 million barrels of oil equivalent - and may be the biggest discovery for more than a decade.
Glengorm sits 118 miles east of Aberdeen, close to Total's Elgin-Franklin and Culzean fields.
It comes after Total announced a major gas discovery on the Glendronach prospect on the west of Shetland in September last year.
The Oil and Gas Authority said there could be more significant finds to come.
Chief executive Dr Andy Samuel said: "Glengorm was first mapped as a prospect around 20 years ago and it is great to see Cnooc taking up the exploration opportunity and completing a difficult high-pressure, high-temperature exploration well.
"Initial results show that Glengorm could be one of the biggest finds in the UKCS in recent years, possibly the biggest since the Culzean gas field was discovered 11 years ago."
"This underlines the considerable potential of the UKCS. Our official estimate is that there still remains between 10 and 20 billion barrels plus to be recovered, so there is every chance of yet more significant finds, provided industry can increase exploration drilling and capitalise on the real value to be had here in the UK."
Ross Dornan, Oil & Gas UK's market intelligence manager, welcomed the news.
He said: "This is a major find and a great example of partner companies, CNOOC International, Total E&P and Edison working together to explore and unlock the potential of the UK Continental Shelf (UKCS).
"Glengorm was a challenging prospect to drill, however the combined determination and perseverance of the partners has paid off.
"The location of the discovery, in the central North Sea, also provides a valuable opportunity to make use of the UKCS' extensive infrastructure network.
'Initial results show that Glengorm could be one of the biggest finds in the UKCS in recent years, possibly the biggest since the Culzean gas field was discovered 11 years ago'Dr Andy Samuel
"Coming so soon after the Glendronach discovery in September, Glengorm is a major milestone towards adding another generation of productive life to the UK North Sea and realising the ambition of Vision 2035."
Environmental campaigners said the discovery was bad news for the climate and called for a transition away from fossil fuel development.
Caroline Rance, Friends of the Earth Scotland climate campaigner, said: "We've known for years that we need to leave fossil fuels in the ground if we're to tackle climate change.
"But just months after the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change's stark warning on the climate crisis, it's clear that big oil and gas companies still aren't listening.
"It's a disgrace that oil and gas exploration is still going ahead in the seas off Scotland."