Production is expected to start late next year at the Enochdhu oil field in the Central North Sea after UK officials cleared its development.

ConocoPhillips UK and co-venturer Chevron North Sea said the project had been approved by the UK Department of Energy and Climate Change (DECC).

Enochdhu is expected to produce at an initial peak rate of more than 10,000 barrels of oil equivalent per day.

It is the fourth field to be developed in the Greater Britannia Area.

The others are Britannia, Brodgar and Callanish.

ConocoPhillips UK president David Chenier said: “‘The development of Enochdhu in the North Sea is consistent with ConocoPhillips’ overall strategy for delivering on the company’s 3% to 5% production growth targets.

“It also supports our long-term commitment to sustain a thriving and profitable UK business.”

Energy Secretary Edward Davey said: “We are working very hard with industry to create the right environment for oil and gas and this is expected to be a record year for North Sea investment.

“The Enochdhu development is another vote of confidence for the future of the North Sea, providing jobs and energy security.”