ENQUEST has shown its faith in the North Sea by agreeing to acquire a 40.1 per cent stake in the Bressay oil field east of Shetland from Equinor.

UK-based EnQuest said the initial consideration is £2.2 million payable as a carry against 50% of Equinor’s net share of costs from the point it assumes operatorship.

The independent oil and gas production and development company, which is listed on the London and Stockholm stock exchanges, said the field could produce a billion barrels of oil.

EnQuest will also assume operatorship of the licences following the plugging and abandonment of the 3/28-1 well by Equinor, the Norwegian company.

It will also make a contingent payment of $15m following Oil and Gas Authority approval of a Bressay field development plan.

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Amjad Bseisu, EnQuest chief executive, said: “We are delighted we have agreed the acquisition of a material operating interest in the Bressay field and to partner with Equinor.

“The heavy oil skills and knowledge the group has acquired from Kraken will help us unlock the potential of this large one billion bbl oil in place field. We would like to thank Equinor for their confidence in our capabilities and we look forward to a productive partnership with Equinor and Chrysaor.”

It said a number of development scenarios are under consideration, including a potential tie back to Kraken, reducing emissions, costs and extending its field life.

It also said the move is aligned with EnQuest’s “proven capabilities in heavy oil, drilling and low risk subsea tie backs” and “establishes a strategic partnership with Equinor, jointly leveraging development capabilities”.

The positive news comes amid the coronavirus fall-out and oil price instability, and the firm is one of the major players to have put forward plans for cuts in spending and job losses. Shares in EnQuest closed at 13.06p, down 0.61%.