Siccar Point Energy’s boss said the private-equity backed oil firm plans to be a fixture in the waters around Shetland for the long haul.
The Aberdeen-headquartered firm is pressing ahead with its Cambo field, following “encouraging” initial results from a recently drilled appraisal well.
But Siccar Point has delayed an exploration well on the Lyon field until next spring due to looming winter weather conditions.
Siccar Point bought the licences containing Cambo and Lyon from Austrian firm OMV in January 2017.
It has since farmed out stakes in those fields to Shell and Ineos − a clear indication of the basin’s attractiveness.
Siccar Point chief executive Jonathan Roger said: “Companies like us are now seeing a real opportunity in the basin, while others are looking to reduce their footprint.
“It’s an opportunity for us to really come in and take advantage of quality material opportunities.
Commenting on the firm’s current projects, he said: “Following our successful Cambo well test, we’re now progressing with that development.
“The surrounding area’s potential is hugely exciting, both on the exploration side but also in terms of other resources that we’re looking to tie-back as part of a wider Cambo development.”
A recent report from energy consultancy Wood Mackenzie said smaller, private-equity-backed newcomers to the North Sea, such as Azinor Catalyst, Chrysaor, Neptune Energy and Siccar Point, could revolutionise the basin.
It is often assumed that private-equity firms are only concerned with making short-term gains before a quick exit.
Mr Roger said: “People think that private equity is short-term focus, but we’ve not found that at all.
“Of course private equity would like to get a return and exit with profits over a period of time, but they do it in a way that’s focused on long-term value creation.”
Mr Roger said not all new kids in the block are the same: “We’re different to some of the other firms out there now.
“We’re focused on higher quality, long-life assets so we had to put a capital structure in place to both acquire them and then add value by investing in them. It’s a bit different to some of the other models out there.”