Dana Petroleum has reached a major milestone confirming first hydrocarbons have flowed from its flagship project.

The first production well for the Western Isles Development has been successfully completed and flow tested, the firm confirmed today.

Hugh McClure, director of capital development projects, said: “The first flow on Western Isles is an important milestone for both the project and Dana as a company.”

A further three wells have also been drilled and four subsea christmas trees have been installed on the seabed – all significant steps for the company.

The drilling rig Ocean Nomad, which has been leased from Diamond Offshore, is carrying out the various work.

The $1.6billion project will see Dana and project partner Cieco developing the Harris and Barra fields around 160km east of Shetland.

The partners will focus on the subsea development of at least five production and four water injection wells tied back to a new build floating production, storage and offloading vessel (FPSO) with oil export using shuttle tankers.

It is expected to produce around 40,000 barrels of oil equivalent per day once it comes online next year.