NORTH Sea-focused oil and gas independent EnQuest has highlighted the challenges firms can face operating off Shetland while noting it made good progress last year.

EnQuest said average output from the Kraken heavy oil field East of Shetland was below expectations last year, at 30,310 barrels oil per day shared with partner Cairn Energy.

In early December production from Kraken was expected to average up to 35,000 barrels daily.

“Throughout 2018, production was limited by a number of weather related and FPSO (Floating Production Storage and Offloading) system outages, with March, November and December being particularly affected,” said EnQuest yesterday.

On Monday Hurricane Energy said it had faced a second setback in two weeks in its efforts to bring the Lancaster field into production West of Shetland after a rope being used in the installation of the production system for the field had failed. Last month a rope had become snagged. Hurricane said then the FPSO for Lancaster had returned to the Cromarty Firth to complete remediation work on the relevant facilities, citing a predicted deterioration in weather conditions.

In an update on 2018 operations, London-based EnQuest said it had achieved a strong performance on other assets, including the Magnus field 100 miles north of Shetland, which it acquired from BP. This helped it generate more cash to reduce debt.

It produced 21,528 barrels oil equivalent per day from Magnus in December, which was above expectations.

EnQuest increased average daily production in the UK to 47,015 boed from 28,467.

The company’s output in Malaysia fell to 8,432 boed from 8,938 boed.