French oil giant Total has revealed plans to begin development of an onshore oil and gas field in southern Italy estimated to cost €1.6bn ($1.9bn).
The company said it has made the final investment decision for the field, situated in the southern Apennines at an altitude of 1,000m.
The Tempa Rossa field in the Basilicata region is slated to come on stream in early 2016 with production centered around 50,000 barrels of oil per day at plateau, which will raise Italy's oil production by about 40%, Total said.
The field will also produce 230,000 cubic metres of natural gas and 240t of LPG.
Total Exploration & Production president Yves-Louis Darricarrère said development of the Tempa Rossa field is a significant achievement for the company.
"It is one more in a long line of projects whose start-up will sustain the Group's production growth in the next few years," Darricarrère added.
"The field has significant potential and will make a strategic contribution to regional economic development."
The project entails building a production and processing centre for the oil and gas, an LPG storage centre and a tie-in to the Val d'Agri-Taranto pipeline that will transport the oil to the Taranto refinery in the Apulia region, after which it will be exported.
Total also plans to expand the capacity of the oil pipeline and the refinery's tank farm and port terminal to handle the increase.
Tempa Rossa lies more than 4,000m beneath the surface, and the field will be produced using eight wells, six of which have already been drilled.
Total is the operator of the field with a 75% stake while Shell holds the remaining 25%.