Scotland business

Oil firm EnQuest forecasts 33% rise in output

EnQuest workers Image copyright ENQUEST

North Sea oil firm EnQuest has forecast a 33% rise in production next year, after output climbed in the second half of 2015.

The Aberdeen-based firm said production had been "very strong" across its portfolio.

Output averaged more than 41,000 barrels a day from July to November, a year-on-year rise of nearly 40%.

Its full-year production guidance for 2015 continues to be somewhere between 33,000 and 36,000 barrels a day.

Its estimate for next year is for an average of 44,000 to 48,000 barrels.

The company said second-half output had been boosted in part by the Alma/Galia development, which came onstream in the Central North Sea in late October.

Its growth predictions for next year do not include its Kraken and Scolty/Crathes developments, which have yet to come onstream.

'Firmly on schedule'

EnQuest has a 60% interest in Kraken, which lies east of Shetland.

The company said Kraken was "firmly on schedule" to produce first oil in the first half of 2017.

It also confirmed it had sanctioned the start of the $125m Scolty/Crathes field development plan. Drilling there is due to start by the middle of 2016, with first oil expected in 2017.

EnQuest chief executive Amjad Bseisu said: "EnQuest is addressing its priorities in this low oil price environment: delivering on production and execution targets, streamlining operations and strengthening the balance sheet."

The update came amid reports that EnQuest is seeking to sell stakes in several of its North Sea assets.

News agency Reuters said the company had launched a process to farm out a stake in the Heather/Broom field. EnQuest currently owns 63% of the field.

It also reported that EnQuest was seeking to sell up to a quarter of its stake in Kraken, and a 10%-20% share of Scolty/Crathes, in which it has a 50% interest.

The company has yet to confirm the reports.

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