EnQuest's production falls, but Kraken progress boosts shares

 
Courtney Goldsmith
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EnQuest is a North Sea-focused oil producer (Source: EnQuest)

North Sea oil producer EnQuest reported a drop in production in the ten months to the end of October, but the firm's share price rose as it said its Kraken oilfield production plan was on track.

EnQuest said production fell 13.3 per cent to 35,410 barrels of oil equivalent per day (boepd) from 40,857 boepd the previous year due to scheduled and unscheduled shutdowns.

The firm reiterated its 2017 full-year production guidance, saying output at its flagship Kraken field was rising month-on-month. Kraken hit gross production rates of 23,000 barrels of oil per day (bopd) in early November, and gross rates of over 40,000 bopd were achieved later in the month.

EnQuest, which has a debt of around $2bn (£1.48bn), also said its banks had agreed to defer its scheduled $140m reduction in a term loan facility by six months to October 2018.

The company's share price was up more than four per cent at 26.52p at the time of writing.

Read more: EnQuest swings to loss on delays at Kraken, but its share price is up

EnQuest expects gross production at Kraken to reach 50,000 bopd during the first half of 2018.

Chief executive Amjad Bseisu said the company's non-Kraken assets were delivering "as per our plan post this programme".

He added that the company will focus on reducing debt in 2018.

Full-year 2017 operating expenditure is expected to be around $27 per barrel while capital expenditure is set to be in the $375m to $400m range.

Read more: EnQuest shares slide as it cuts full-year production on delays at Kraken

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