A "significant" oil and gas find has been made in the North Sea west of Shetland, it has been announced.
The ChevronTexaco find is 78 miles (126km) offshore in the Faroe-Shetland channel at the Rosebank/Lochnagar well.
President of ChevronTexaco Overseas Petroleum George Kirkland said the find "positioned the company for continued growth in the region".
Further tests will be carried out on the well to appraise fully the find, made by the West Navigator drill ship.
The well, located in 3,600ft (1,100m) of water and completed on 30 August, detected two oil and gas "accumulations".
Mr Kirkland said the discovery "further underscores our corporate exploration strategy of focusing on core, high-impact opportunities around the world".
Gary Luquette, president and managing director of ChevronTexaco Upstream Europe, said: "We are extremely encouraged by the well results.
"This is an exciting opportunity and endorses our company’s continued commitment to exploration in the Atlantic Margin test area and ongoing investment in the UK Continental Shelf."
The leader of the Scottish National Party (SNP), Alex Salmond, a former oil economist with the Royal Bank of Scotland, welcomed the find.
Reports suggest the field may contain 500 million barrels of oil, the party said.
"This is a significant new discovery and certainly a big find," Mr Salmond went on.
"It supports suggestions that there are still 50 billion barrels of oil in the North Sea that are yet to be developed.
"That is significantly more than has been extracted from the North Sea so far and indicates that there is still a great deal more oil in Scottish waters.
"Over the next two years, the chancellor will take £11bn from Scotland’s oil revenues, bank-rolling his budget.
"This latest discovery coupled with high oil prices demonstrates the enormous oil wealth that is still to come."