EQUINOR has started production from a field straddling the border between the UK and Norwegian sectors of the North Sea and said it would be keen to consider more cross border opportunities.

The Norwegian oil and gas giant said the authorities on both sides of the border had helped to make the development of the 40 million barrel oil equivalent Utgard field a success.

Equinor, formerly known as Statoil, expects the development to be profitable in spite of the fall in oil prices since 2014.

Crude prices surged on Monday following drone strikes on Saudi Arabian facilities at the weekend. They retreated yesterday as supply fears ease.

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Production from Utgard is expected to average around 43,000 barrels of oil equivalent daily when it plateaus.

Utgard was found in 1982. Equinor said it acquired the part of the field that lies in UK waters in 2016 in order to be able to realise the development, which has been tied back to production facilities for the Sleipner field off Norway.

The company added: “We will continue to seek cross-border opportunities to add value on both sides of the border.”

The Brent crude price surged around 20 per cent in early trading on Monday after the drone strikes in Saudi Arabia led to the interruption of 5.7 million barrels of crude oil production per day. That is equivalent to more than five per cent of the world's daily supply.

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Brent crude traded down around 4% at around $66.30 per barrel yesterday afternoon, signalling that concerns about potential long term disruption to supplies had eased.

Reuters said a top Saudi source who had been briefed on developments had told the agency that production in the kingdom could be fully online within two to three weeks.

However, S&P Global Ratings credit analyst Thomas Watters, said: “The question that really concerns the market is what the response will be from Saudi Arabia, the U.S., and many Western nations if it’s believed that Iran supported or was behind the attacks. Any escalation or prolonged military conflict would most likely lead to oil prices increasing rapidly toward $100 per barrel.”

The Brent crude price peaked at $115/bbl in June 2014 before growth in global production started to run ahead of demand.