The £60m project to refurbish two 5,000-tonne platforms in the East Irish Sea, which is expected to start later this month, aims to boost output from the fields and unlock a further three billion cubic feet of gas.
The facility already produces enough gas to heat 1.5 million UK homes.
Over the course of the next nine months, a 300-strong team working from a jack-up accommodation barge moored alongside the two platforms will overhaul the equipment on the normally-unmanned installations.
They will also remove the lifeboats and 60-tonne cranes on both platforms so they can be refurbished and reinstalled.
The project is one part of a major investment programme planned for Centrica’s Morecambe Bay operations, both offshore and onshore.
Earlier this year, Centrica announced plans to remove some of the redundant equipment on its South Terminal at the Barrow Gas Terminals in a £15m project. All the gas from Centrica’s East Irish Sea fields is now processed at the newer North Morecambe Terminal, leading to the planning application to remove some of the oldest equipment at the nearby South Terminal.
Tamsin Lishman, Morecambe Bay director for Centrica’s exploration and production business said: “The Morecambe Bay fields have been a cornerstone of our business since first gas flowed into the Barrow Gas terminals more than 30 years ago, so we are delighted to continue investing in their future.
“With nearly 300 billion cubic feet of gas still in place under the East Irish Sea, major projects like this will help ensure we maximise the potential of these fields and continue supplying gas for UK homes and businesses.”