Updated: Catcher production helps MOL raise upstream income by 50%

The Catcher FPSO. Photograph courtesy of BW Offshore
The Catcher FPSO. Photograph courtesy of BW Offshore

Production from the UK North Sea’s Catcher area helped Hungarian oil firm Mol Group lift its upstream earnings by almost 50% last year.

The Budapest-based firm’s upstream division raked in almost £1 billion in 2018 thanks to higher oil and gas prices and “high-margin barrels” from Catcher.

Mol has a 20% stake in the Premier Oil-operated Catcher area, which started production in the central North Sea in December 2017.

Catcher reached plateau production of 66,000 barrels per day in the fourth quarter of 2018 and “achieved very high operating efficiency”, Mol said.

Net production from Mol’s UK portfolio increased threefold to 17,500 barrels per day in the last three months of 2018.

Mol’s other UK North Sea interests include a 50% non-operated stake in the Scolty and Crathes fields.

Output from Scolty-Crathes has been restricted by a wax build-up in a flowline, but operator EnQuest expects to install a replacement pipeline in the third quarter of 2019.

Mol also has interests in the Scott, Telford and Rochelle assets, operated by Chinese firm Cnooc.

Group pre-tax profits dropped 9% to £907m in 2018, on revenues of £14.2bn.