Kraken heavy oil goes onstream in UK North Sea

EnQuest PLC confirmed Kraken heavy oil field went on stream on June 23, saying seven production wells and six injection wells have been completed. Those production wells will be brought online in phases.

Production was delivered on schedule and under budget, executives said. The UK North Sea field is 125 km east of the Shetland Islands.

EnQuest said it is shifting its focus from heavy capital investment to cash generation. EnQuest has a 70.5% interest in Kraken. Cairn Energy PLC owns the rest.

Kevin Swann, Wood Mackenzie Ltd. research analyst, called Kraken production “a welcome boost for the UK oil and gas industry.” He said, “Although other heavy oil fields have produced in the UK, this is the first of a batch of projects that were discovered some time ago but were previously deemed too challenging technically to develop.”

WoodMac estimates Kraken production will average 20,000 b/d for the year, Swann said, which would account for 15% of year-on-year production growth in the UK in 2017.

WoodMac expects production will peak at almost 50,000 b/d in 2019, providing 4.5% of overall UK liquids production that year.

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