EnQuest shares up amid North Sea discovery

Shares of North Sea exploration firm EnQuest rose about 5% after it announced encouraging results fom its Central North Sea drilling programme. 

Neil McCulloch, EnQuest’s president, North Sea said: “Drilling performance in the Central North Sea this year has been excellent,  both ahead of schedule and under budget.

“This builds on EnQuest’s outstanding North Sea drilling performance in 2015, also under budget. 

“I am now also pleased to confirm that the initial results of the drilling of the nearby Eagle exploration well have confirmed a new discovery.   

“Following last year’s production growth and unit operating cost reduction successes at Greater Kittiwake Area, this latest success demonstrates EnQuest’s ability to create value from maturing assets and from near field exploration opportunities.”

On June 20, EnQuest was forced to deny it was in any “company-specific discussions” with the UK Oil and Gas Authority (OGA) over contingency plans to tackle the risk of insolvencies among mid-sized operators.

A report in The Telegraph had claimed the OGA was considering action to tackle the risk of insolvencies among mid-cap firms like Enquest, which is a major stakeholder in the huge Kraken field, one of the North Sea’s largest new projects.

In a statement on June 20, EnQuest said: “EnQuest notes The Telegraph article at the weekend about the UK Oil and Gas Authority’s possible North Sea contingency plans.

“EnQuest routinely engages with the OGA and with the UK and Scottish Governments on industry matters, but is not involved in any company-specific discussions such as were implied by the article.”