Shell has confirmed that it is mulling whether to send gas from the Shearwater platform via the Segal pipeline system.
The oil major currently exports gas from Shearwater to the Bacton terminal in Norfolk through a 288-mile-long pipeline.
But the Anglo-Dutch firm could choose to re-route to the Segal system as part of its wider North Sea rejuvenation strategy.
Segal, which stands for Shell Esso Gas and Associated Liquids, first came on stream in 1982.
It is made up of two wet gas transportation pipelines, the St Fergus gas terminal near Peterhead, the Mossmorran NGL (natural gas liquids) terminal and Braefoot Bay tanker loading facility in Fife.
Gas liquids are transported from the northern North Sea along the far north liquids and associated gas system (Flags) line to St Fergus and from the central North Sea along the Fulmar gas line (FGL).
A spokesman for Shell said the firm was “evaluating” using the Segal system, but stressed that no final investment decision had been made.
The company still believes Bacton could play a big role in facilitating tight gas extraction from the southern North Sea.
Shearwater is a high pressure, high temperature field located in the central North Sea, 140 miles east of Aberdeen.
It is serviced by a normally manned process, utilities and living quarters platform, bridge-linked to a wellhead platform.
The Shearwater platform is expected play an important part in a number of North Sea oil field developments.
Shell announced in June that it had taken a final investment decision on the Fram gas an condensate field, which is expected to produce 12,400 barrels of oil equivalent per day once it reaches its peak.
Liquids from the field will be transported via a new subsea pipeline to the Starling field and then on to Shearwater.
The nearby Arran field is also likely to be tied back to Shearwater.
Earlier this month, London-headquartered RockRose Energy said it had agreed to buy operator Dana Petroleum’s entire 20.43% stake in Arran.
It is understood the operatorship of the field will be taken over by Shell once the deal goes through.
Serica Energy also intends to develop its Columbus field by connecting with the proposed pipeline between Arran and Shearwater.
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