Development of the largest new gas field in the UK North Sea for a decade has been given the green light.
At peak production in 2020/21 the Culzean field off Scotland is expected to produce enough gas to meet 5% of total UK demand, according to operator Maersk Oil.
It was discovered in 2008 and with an estimated reserve of 250-300 million barrels of oil equivalent it is described by Maersk as the the largest gas field sanctioned for exploitation since East Brae in 1990.
Gas is expected to started flowing from the development in 2019 and continue for at least 13 years with peak production of 60,000-90,000 barrels per day, Maersk Oil said.
Chancellor George Osborne, who is visiting Scotland today, welcomed news that exploitation of Culzean has been approved by the UK Oil & Gas Authority.
In a statement, he said it was a "clear signal that the North Sea is open for business".
The Chancellor added: "Already the UK's oil and gas industry supports hundreds of thousands of jobs across the country and this £3 billion investment comes on the back of massive Government support for the sector.
"Despite challenging times, this Government has backed the oil and gas industry at every turn, introducing a vital package of support to help it to protect and create jobs."
Maersk Oil said the project is expected to support an estimated 6,000 UK jobs and create more than 400 direct jobs.