GDF Suez and partners sanctions Cygnus.

GDF Suez as operator with partners Centrica and Bayerngas have announced sanctioning of the £1.4 billion Cygnus project to develop the sixth largest gas field in the UK Southern North Sea.

-Initial contracts worth £375 million were signed Monday 6 August by GDF SUEZ on behalf of the partnership to kick start the project. The majority of this (£337m) will be invested directly in the UK generating an initial 1,200 jobs, the operator says.

In total around £1.4 billion will be invested in the Cygnus project, 80% of which is expected to be awarded to UK-based companies creating 4,000 direct and indirect jobs over the next four years during the construction phase.

The Cygnus field is the largest discovery in the Southern Gas Basin in the last 25 years.

Production is expected to start in late 2015. The field is expected to meet demand for nearly one and a half million homes at peak production, accounting for around 5% of the UK’s gas production.

Major contracts will be awarded progressively.

Jean-Marie Dauger, Executive Vice-President, GDF Suez said: "Cygnus, along with the Juliet development which we announced in June, are major projects for the UK gas industry and demonstrates our commitment to the North Sea. I am delighted to announce that we have signed these initial contracts which demonstrate our commitment to the UK supply chain. We are proud that Cygnus will bring substantial jobs and investment to the UK. We look forward to working with our partners and contractors to develop this very significant project”.

GDF SUEZ (38.75%) will operate the field with partners Centrica (48.75%) and Bayerngas (12.5%).