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Independent UK producer EnQuest said on Monday that it had achieved first oil from the Kraken development in the North Sea, in what UK officials and analysts said was a ‘landmark’ achievement in one of the most mature oil production basins in the world.
“EnQuest is delighted to confirm that first oil has been achieved on the Kraken development, delivered on schedule and under budget,” said the company which has a 70.5-percent interest in Kraken, while its partner in the development Cairn Energy owns the other 29.5 percent.
EnQuest shares were soaring almost 7 percent in mid-day trade in London on Monday, as investors hope that the new production field would now start reducing the company’s debts.
According to EnQuest, gross peak oil production is expected to be approximately 50,000 barrels of oil per day. The gross capital costs of the development are currently estimated to be around US$2.5 billion, down from US$3.2 billion at the time the project was sanctioned, EnQuest said.
“This is a landmark project for EnQuest and the UK oil and gas sector as one of the largest new oil fields to come on-stream in the North Sea in a decade,” UK Business and Energy Secretary Greg Clark said in EnQuest’s statement.
UK Oil & Gas Authority Chief Executive, Dr Andy Samuel, said:
“As one of the most significant oil field projects in the UK Continental Shelf, successful production from Kraken is positive news for the whole basin. It has the potential to open up additional heavy oil opportunities in the Northern North Sea, with other developments in the pipeline.”
Industry trade body Oil & Gas UK, which also welcomed the Kraken news, said back in March in its 2017 business outlook that “oil and gas production continues to rise and unit costs are improving, resulting in a more resilient and globally competitive basin, despite on-going lower commodity prices.”
Last month, BP said that it had produced its first oil from a redeveloped project in the North Sea—the Quad 204 in the west of Shetland region offshore UK, following a US$5.7 billion (4.4 billion pounds) redevelopment.
By Tsvetana Paraskova for Oilprice.com
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Tsvetana is a writer for Oilprice.com with over a decade of experience writing for news outlets such as iNVEZZ and SeeNews.