Venture Production said yesterday it had continued to make solid progress in developing new assets in the first half of 2008 despite the delay of first oil from the Chestnut field.
The Aberdeen-based oil and gas operator expects first output from Chestnut during the third quarter of 2008.
Venture has a 69.875% interest and is operator of the central North Sea field, which was previously expected to start producing in the second quarter of 2008.
First oil from Chestnut has been delayed by slower-than-expected commissioning and subsea work.
In an update yesterday, Venture said overall production performance in the first half of the year was broadly in line with expectations.
“Timing of first oil from Chestnut clearly remains the principal uncertainty of second-half production performance,” the firm added.
The company said it still expected output between now and the end of the year to be somewhat higher than in the first half, adding: “We anticipate average daily production for 2008 to be within the previously announced guidance range.”
Venture has forecast production of about 50,000 barrels of oil equivalent per day (boepd) for 2008, excluding acquisitions.
This follows output of 41,229boepd last year, which was 7.7% lower than 2006, with the firm being hit by delays.
The group said yesterday that commodity price rises in the early part of this year had resulted in increased sales revenue for its oil and gas output in comparison with either the first or second half of 2007.
It added: “Conditions in the gas market have been much stronger.
“The combination of strong operational performance, high commodity prices and increased business development activity mean that the board remains highly confident in the outlook for Venture’s business in 2008 and beyond.”