EnQuest profits hit by lower oil prices

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North Sea-focused oil producer EnQuest has blamed falling oil prices and a number of one-off costs for a 13.2 per cent dip in first-half profits.

The group also said that production from its new Alma/Galia field was now expected to begin during the first quarter of next year, rather than the final three months of this year.

As a result, production for 2013 will be towards the lower end of the 22,000 to 27,000 barrels of oil equivalent per day it predicted in March, but the field should give a “substantial” boost to output in 2014.

Pre-tax profits before net finance costs fell to $167.2 million (£108m) for the six months to 30 June, down from $192.6m a year ago, despite a 3.6 per cent increase in revenues to $455.9m.

Chief executive Amjad Bseisu said: “We continue to look at opportunities to acquire assets in the UK and other regions, where our expertise and capabilities can be applied to maturing assets and development opportunities.”