Oil & Gas Company’s Ambitious Oil Production Plan


EnQuest, a prominent player in the oil and gas sector, is gearing up to tap into the potential of two offshore fields, a move that could unlock reserves totalling 500 million barrels of crude oil in the coming decades.

Situated in close proximity to the established Kraken oil and gas field, approximately 80 miles east of Shetland, these upcoming projects are poised to reignite debates over the future trajectory of North Sea energy production. Notably, the Labour Party has raised concerns regarding environmental impacts and threatened to impede new production ventures.

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The envisaged “Kraken cluster” comprising these new fields would amass reserves surpassing those of Rosebank and Cambo, contentious fields located west of Shetland, which have faced staunch opposition from environmental activists. While Rosebank secured a production licence in September of the previous year after prolonged political negotiations, Cambo has languished in uncertainty since 2021, following Shell’s withdrawal due to environmental concerns.

Against this backdrop, Labour has proposed an £11 billion levy on the oil and gas industry, with intentions to channel funds into bolstering renewable energy sources, thereby reducing household energy costs. Additionally, the party aims to impose a ban on new oil and gas drilling licences, aligning with broader efforts to curtail fossil fuel extraction in favour of renewable alternatives.

However, industry stakeholders, including Wael Sawan, the CEO of Shell, have cautioned against a precipitous transition, highlighting the indispensable role of oil and gas in meeting current energy demands. Sawan emphasised the imperative for increased investment in fossil fuel exploration to avert potential energy shortages.

EnQuest’s forthcoming projects, Bressay and Bentley, are strategically located in proximity to the Kraken field, facilitating integration into the existing production infrastructure. Bressay, touted as one of the largest undeveloped oil fields in the UK continental shelf, boasts estimated reserves ranging between 600 million and one billion barrels. Meanwhile, Bentley is anticipated to yield over 300 million barrels, rivaling the potential of the Rosebank field.

“These reserves, in conjunction with the existing production from Kraken, could collectively contribute over 700 million barrels of oil,” said a spokesperson for EnQuest.

“While such endeavours promise economic benefits and job creation, concerns linger regarding their environmental ramifications and the continued reliance on fossil fuels,” the spokesperson added.

In response, EnQuest has underscored its commitment to environmental stewardship, pledging to minimise emissions and transition towards net zero carbon emissions by 2040.

“We are committed to supporting the energy transition in the UK,” said Craig Baxter, representing EnQuest, “and any future field development will be conducted in line with EnQuest’s commitment to reaching net zero scope 1 and 2 emissions by 2040.”

Mr Baxter also highlighted initiatives to utilise gas extracted from Bressay to power operations at Kraken, thereby reducing reliance on diesel and mitigating emissions.

Amidst these developments, a spokesperson for the Department for Energy Security and Net Zero emphasised the enduring importance of oil and gas in the energy mix, even as the nation progresses towards net zero emissions by 2050.

“While supporting ongoing industry operations,” the spokesperson said, “the government affirms its commitment to managing production declines in alignment with climate objectives, emphasising the imperative of a gradual transition to renewable energy sources.”

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