EnQuest Produces 1st Oil from New North Sea Field


LONDON, Oct 28 (Reuters) – Oil company EnQuest said on Wednesday its new Alma/Galia field in the British part of the North Sea had produced its first oil, two years later than initially expected.

EnQuest said the field, located about 300 km southeast of Aberdeen, had begun production on Tuesday and it expected it to reach full capacity in early 2016.

The start-up of the field ends a long delay, mainly due to problems in the construction of the field's Floating Production Storage and Offloading (FPSO) vessel and weather-related issues.

A ramp-up in oil production will help EnQuest bolster its cashflow at a time when the industry is grappling with a halving in crude prices since the summer of 2014.

Shares in EnQuest traded up 1.8 percent at 1114 GMT.

The Alma/Galia field was first developed by a different operator under the name Argyll in the early 1990s. EnQuest, which says only 30 percent of the field's oil has been extracted, said it can significantly extend Alma/Galia's lifetime using new technology.

The British government has put a tax and incentives system in place aimed at encouraging oil producers to squeeze as much oil and gas out of the North Sea as possible.

(Reporting by Karolin Schaps, editing by David Evans)


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