A North Sea company has signed a £290 million contract for a new drilling rig which could extend the life of its oil fields until 2030.
Transocean will provide and operate the rig for Talisman Sinopec Energy as part of its overall £1.6 billion Montrose Area Redevelopment (MAR) plan.
Part of the redevelopment involves the Montrose oil platform, one of the oldest rigs in Scotland which was installed in 1976. Transocean's moveable rig, Sedco 712, will move alongside the existing platform to drill in established fields and two undeveloped fields, Cayley and Shaw.
The MAR project will create and sustain 2,000 jobs in engineering, construction and installation, Talisman said.
UK Energy Secretary Ed Davey was in Aberdeen to welcome the signing of the contract. He said: "The Montrose Area Redevelopment is an exciting project. A substantial amount of Talisman Sinopec Energy UK Limited's £1.6bn investment has been won by UK companies creating or sustaining around 2,000 skilled jobs across the country.
"This project will extend the life of existing North Sea fields, developing around 100 million barrels of new reserves. It is an excellent example of the government and the oil and gas industry working together to encourage continuous investment. This sends out a strong signal that the UK is open for business, and open to new opportunities and investors."
As part of the three year contract Transocean will also work on other Talisman projects in the North Sea.
Geoff Holmes, chief executive of Talisman, said: "It is a strong and clear signal of our intentions this year to significantly upscale our North Sea activities, investing in the sector and supporting the wider UK economy.
"The Sedco 712 rig will also play a vital role in our MAR project - the progress of which can be largely attributed to recognition from both HM Treasury and the Department for Energy and Climate Change that change was required to unlock further reserves from the UK North Sea.
"Their high level of engagement in relation to brown field allowance, and support from Oil and Gas UK, enabled us to sanction this significant and important project."