An oil services firm has been awarded a £70 million contract to help redevelop one of the UK's largest oil fields.
Aker Solutions in Aberdeen will manufacture and supply equipment for BP, which is upgrading the Schiehallion and Loyal fields 100 miles west of Shetland which are estimated to contain a further 450 million barrels of oil.
Aker Solutions specialises in subsea technology which allows wells to be monitored and managed remotely through a complex series of hydraulic and electrical connections between the surface and the seabed.
The company, which is listed on the Oslo stock exchange, employs about 2,700 people in the north east of Scotland. A further 500 posts are planned.
Matt Corbin, managing director of Aker's subsea business in the UK, said: "Aker Solutions have had a long and successful partnership with BP in the North Sea over many years.
"Having developed that mutual trust, we are delighted to play such a strategic role in this prestigious project.
"Our team has been working for some time with BP to get to this stage and this pre-award effort will allow us to commence execution of the project immediately."
Scotland's First Minister Alex Salmond welcomed the deal as a "massive vote of confidence" in the North Sea oil and gas industry.
He said: "Projected investment in Scotland's oil sector is already set to reach £13 billion in 2013 and it is clear that, with announcements such as this, major players in the industry see North Sea oil as a safe bet for the future.
"Aker Solutions is already a huge employer in Aberdeen and I have seen for myself the world-class expertise that their employees bring to the subsea technology necessary to exploit our vast oil resources."