Nexen said yesterday it had an exploration programme planned for 2012 in the UK North Sea.
This included participation in the North Uist well west of Shetland.
The Canadian oil and gas firm also said global full-year production was 207,000 barrels of oil equivalent (boe) per day in 2011, compared with 246,000 in 2010, although daily output from the North Sea was down by 21,000boe to 90,000 barrels.
Nexen said fourth-quarter profits fell on lower production and charges of £202million, relating to changes in its strategy on its Long Lake oil and sand project in Alberta, Canada, and an impairment charge related to its gas assets in Canada, where prices were close to historic lows.
Meanwhile, US-based Apache said record production and strong oil prices combined to generate record full-year 2011 earnings of £2.8billion, up 50% on 2010.
Production jumped 14% to 748,000 barrels of oil equivalent per day.
The company said it planned to spend £6billion on drilling in 2012, up from £5billion in 2011, with more than £650million planned for the North Sea.