WEST of Shetland-focused Hurricane Energy has hailed the sale of the first oil it produced from a giant find as experts warned crude prices are set to come under renewed pressure.

The sale of the first cargo of oil from the Lancaster field represents a landmark for the firm.

It provided the first revenues for Surrey-based Hurricane, which has pioneered the hunt for oil in an under-explored geological area off Shetland.

The company announced the start of production from Lancaster earlier this month following a development process which has generated huge interest in the oil and gas industry.

Chief executive Robert Trice noted yesterday that Hurricane could use the revenues from Lancaster production to fund work on other prospects off Shetland. Lancaster is estimated to contain 500 million barrels.

Hurricane will likely need to contend with continued oil price volatility.

While the crude price surged last week amid tension in the Middle East, Bank of America Merrill Lynch has cut its forecasts to reflect weak global demand.

The bank expects the Brent crude price to average $60 per barrel in 2020, against $65/bbl previously.

“With trade wars taking center stage in the past few weeks, Brent oil prices have dropped by about $15/bbl from their April highs,” it said in a BofA Merrill Lynch Global Research report. The bank added: “Iran tensions have not gone away, but we now see a weakening demand backdrop on our economic team’s lower global Gross Domestic Product projections.”