Aberdeen firm First Oil said yesterday it was still the largest, private, UK-owned company producing oil and gas in the North Sea.
First, owned by businessman Ian Suttie, added its proven and probable reserves grew by 18% to 34.4million barrels of oil equivalent during the year to April 30.
The company also said it had a high-impact drilling programme planned for the next 12 months which would have an immediate effect on near-term production and turnover.
Results for 2011-12 showed a slump in pre-tax profits to £55,000, from £11.27million a year earlier. Turnover also fell in the latest period to £55.22million, compared with £71.19million previously.
But managing director Steve Bowyer highlighted a 36% increase in operating costs, before one-off items, to £27.54million.
He said the main highlight of the year was the transformational acquisition of an interest in the Kraken field, which was followed by immediate value realisation through a farm-down, adding: “We retain a 15% carried interest in Kraken, where a field-development plan is planned to be submitted in 2013.
“Production has been significantly enhanced through the achievement of first oil from Bacchus – a two-well subsea tieback to Forties Alpha – in April 2012, with the field currently producing around 10,000 barrels of oil per day and planning for the third development well under discussion.
“We are participating in the drilling of 14 wells in 2012-13, including the drilling of our first operated exploration well in Block 29/6a, and continue to target further acquisitions.”