Oil & Gas

CNR to up North Sea and Africa spending

Oil and gas producer Canadian Natural Resources is to increase annual investment in the North Sea and Africa by 40%.

Setting its 2013 budget, the firm said spending by its Aberdeen-based international business, focussed on the North Sea and Africa, would rise from the £263million expected this year to £379million in 2013.

The increase, which includes the firm starting a second platform drilling operation on the Ninian field, is in part thanks to new tax allowances.

A CNR International spokesman said: “The introduction of the brownfield allowance, announced in September, has had a positive impact on our plans and allowed us to increase our capital in the North Sea in 2013.”

The firm said about half of the international arm’s total spend would go towards growing production, with the rest aimed at extending the life of existing assets.

Spending off Africa is expected to double, with projects including an eight-well infill drilling program on the Espoir field and development drilling on the Boabab field off the Ivory Coast as well as exploration off South Africa.

Production from the international business is targeted to be between 32,000-36,000 barrels of oil per day between the fourth quarter of 2012 and the same period next year and be 6% higher than now in the latter period.

CNR said its portfolio had more than 7.5billion barrels of oil and gas equivalent proved and probable reserves, which it said was the largest in its peer group.

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