'˜Landmark' as first oil flows from North Sea's Kraken

The Kraken project, one of the largest developments in the North Sea has delivered its first oil in a move hailed as a 'landmark' by the UK government.

Kraken is estimated to contain about 140 million barrels of oil. Picture: Contributed

Kraken, which lies about 80 miles east of Shetland, is estimated to contain about 140 million barrels of oil and operator EnQuest today said it has now achieved first oil “on schedule and under budget”.

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EnQuest chief executive Amjad Bseisu said: “Kraken is a transformational project, made possible by EnQuest’s differential capabilities; the right mix of integrated technical capabilities, high levels of efficiency and cost discipline.

“With production from Kraken, EnQuest is moving from a period of heavy capital investment, to a focus on cash generation and deleveraging the balance sheet.”

EnQuest has a 70.5 per cent stake in Kraken, with Edinburgh-based Cairn Energy holding the remaining 29.5 per cent.

UK business and energy secretary Greg Clark said that first oil from the development was a “landmark 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”.

He added: “This has been made possible through significant UK government support to encourage investments of this type in the North Sea, supporting thousands of highly-skilled jobs.

“We’ll continue to build on this support for the oil and gas sector as it looks to seize the significant opportunities that lie ahead.”

Scottish Secretary David Mundell said: “This is fantastic news and will help ensure skilled, secure jobs in the vital North Sea oil and gas industry, which is very much still open for business.”

Deirdre Michie, chief executive of trade body Oil & Gas UK, said that EnQeust had taken a range of “innovative and efficient steps” to bring Kraken on stream while keeping costs down in the “always challenging” pursuit of oil.

“Effective partnership working with the supply chain has also played an important part,” she added.

“First oil from Kraken is good for EnQuest and good for our industry. It demonstrates once again what the North Sea can still deliver with the right approach and investment.”