Business

North Sea firm makes find east of Aberdeen with Italian giant

NORTH Sea-focused Harbour Energy has revealed that it made a find with a well that has generated interest in the industry, without providing an estimate of the potential size of the discovery.

Harbour told investors that the Dunnottar well south east of Aberdeen had encountered hydrocarbon-bearing intervals in three geological zones.

The company noted: “The commerciality of these marginal accumulations will be assessed. In the meantime, the well will be plugged and abandoned.”

The results of the process will be studied closely in the North Sea industry. Exploration activity has fallen to record lows in the area in recent years.

READ MORE: North Sea production assets remain in demand amid Cambo controversy, say experts

Earlier this month Harbour director Phil Kirk said Dunnottar was a well to watch and had the potential to unlock 50 million barrels oil equivalent for the company.

Harbour developed out of the Chrysaor business, which won backing from US financiers to buy big North Sea portfolios from Shell and ConocoPhillips amid the last downturn.

The company acquired control of North Sea-focused Premier Oil in April and took over its listing on the London Stock Exchange.

It has been a beneficiary of the increase in oil and gas prices that has followed the easing of lockdown measures around the world.

Brent crude sold for $79.34 per barrel yesterday afternoon, up $0.11/bbl on the day. The price fell below $20/bbl in April last year from around $70/bbl before the pandemic.

READ MORE: North Sea firms to make huge payouts to investors following surge in oil and gas prices

Earlier this month Harbour announced plans to start paying an annual dividend of $200 million (£150m). The company said it expected to generate as much as $600m free cash flow from its operations this year.

Harbour has a 67 per cent interest in the licence on which the Dunnottar well was drilled. Italy’s ENI has 33%.

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