North Sea oil and gas operator EnQuest plans to make “select investments” in its existing portfolio, chief executive Amjad Bseisu said yesterday.
He also said the company would “continue to look at other opportunities in the North Sea and beyond”.
Speaking after EnQuest posted first half figures showing pre-tax losses of £16.3million, Mr Bseisu confirmed recent start-up Kraken – about 81 miles east of Shetland – was on course for peak production early next year.
Kraken, which came on stream in June, is one of the largest new oilfields to start pumping since Buzzard and is expected to support more than 1,000 jobs in the UK annually over a lifespan of more than 20 years.
It is also forecast to deliver a “material increase” in EnQuest’s total output next year.
Mr Bseisu declined to put a figure on the likely 2018 total after the company’s overall production declined to 37,015 barrels of oil equivalent (boe) per day in the first half of 2017, from 42,520 a year earlier.
Kraken is already producing around 30,000boe daily, representing about 60% of the targeted 50,000boe plateau production rate.
Project costs have plunged more than 25% from the £2.5billion-plus predicted at sanction in 2013, to just over £1.8billion – meaning substantial savings for operator EnQuest (70.5%) and field partner Cairn Energy.
The first half losses compare with profits of about £57million a year ago, with EnQuest saying performance was impacted by Kraken’s start-up costs and one-offs including a £61million write-off caused by the oil price slump.