NORTH Sea-focused Neptune Energy has welcomed an increase in production from a gas field and underlined its commitment to the area.

Neptune, which is backed by international private equity investors, said the start-up of a new gas production module that handles output from the Fram field off Norway was an important milestone for the company.

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The new module on the Troll C platform will allow gas production from the Fram field to be accelerated and increase the capacity of the facility.

The announcement of the start of production provided evidence that some oil and gas firms see potential in the North Sea amid a period of oil price volatility.

Neptune said the start up provided a further demonstration of the company’s commitment to grow and strengthen core areas close to existing infrastructure and to enhance its footprint in a key geographic area.

It expects to generate good returns on investments made in projects that utilise existing North Sea infrastructure. These can be completed faster and cheaper than green field developments.

Last year Neptune and BP approved a plan to develop the Seagull find in the UK North Sea by linking it to the ETAP processing facility.

Norwegian giant Equinor led work on the installation of the module on Troll C, as the operator of the licence containing Fram.

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The investment was planned to support the development of Troll C as a hub for the area.

Equinor highlighted the potential to make more discoveries in the area.

“The gas module accelerates gas production and capacity in the Fram licence for existing and new wells, adding valuable short-term value. At the same time the gas module allows new future discoveries to be tied in,” said Equinor.

The company made a big find on the Fram licence with the Echino South well last year.

Equinor is working on a plan to adapt the Troll B and C platforms so that they can use shore-based power to help reduce carbon emissions.

Neptune has a 15 per cent interest in the Fram licence with Equinor on 45%.