Scottish oil firm Cairn Energy announced today that its North Sea Ekland well is due to spud next week as it looks to put the Ensco 101 rig in position.
Leaving Hartlepool this morning, the rig will travel to the North Sea over the weekend before getting to work on Cairns first operated exploration well in the UK.
Edinburgh-headquartered Cairn holds a 45% stake in Ekland, Zennor Petroleum has 30% and Petrogas International has 25%.
Cairn Energy also announced Azinor Catalyst farm-in to the Agar Plantain well and the P1763 Licence on the UKCS last week, also due to spud.
Cairn also revealed it was back in the black last year, reporting pre-tax profits of £185million, a vast improvement on a deficit of £108million in 2016.
Highlights for 2017 included first oil from the Kraken and Catcher fields, in which Cairn holds non-operated stakes.
Cairn owns 29.5% of Kraken, which is operated by EnQuest.
The field is located about 80 miles east of Shetland and is served by the Kraken floating production, storage and offloading vessel.
Cairn chief executive Simon Thomson said in March: “With first oil production from its North Sea developments, Cairn continues to deliver a strong and balanced business with a growing production base supporting further development and a multi-well exploration programme offering significant growth potential.
“The company continues to maintain balance sheet strength and financial flexibility as we focus on creating, adding and realising value for shareholders from a portfolio of attractive exploration, development and production assets.”