OIL giants have been awarded options covering huge swathes of windfarm acreage off Scotland in a landmark  auction in which leading Scottish energy firms were also successful.

BP, Shell and France's TotalEnergies, were among the winners in the fiercely-contested ScotWind auction round, which attracted interest from energy firms and investment businesses around the world.

Glasgow-based Scottish Power is working with Shell on plans to develop build two of the world’s first large-scale floating offshore wind farms in Scottish waters.

SSE bid successfully with Japanese conglomerate Marubeni and the Copenhagen Infrastructure Partners investment business.

READ MORE: BP holds out prospect of huge boost to Scottish ship-building from windfarm work

Some 17 projects were selected out of a total of 74 applications.

Crown Estate Scotland said a total of just under £700 million will be paid by the successful applicants in option fees and passed to the Scottish Government for public spending.

Initial indications suggest projects concerned could deliver a multi-billion pound boost for the supply chain in Scotland.

Simon Hodge, Chief Executive of Crown Estate Scotland, said: “Today’s results are a fantastic vote of confidence in Scotland’s ability to transform our energy sector.  Just a couple of months after hosting COP26, we’ve now taken a major step towards powering our future economy with renewable electricity.”

He added: “In addition to the environmental benefits, this also represents a major investment in the Scottish economy.”

Mr Hodge said the variety and scale of the projects involved showed the remarkable progress of the offshore wind sector and provided a clear sign that Scotland is set to be a major hub for the further development of this technology.