EnQuest has confirmed production of first oil from the £4bn Kraken development project in the UK North Sea on schedule and under budget.

The UK-based company stated that it had drilled 13 wells during the initial ramp-up period. The completed wells till date include seven producers and six injectors.

EnQuest plans to bring them on stream in a phased manner for maximum productivity and value for the long term.

According to EnQuest CEO Amjad Bseisu, drill centres 1 and 2 have been completed while work continues on drill centre 3 which means further production capacity of the Kraken field will come online next year once the other wells are put on stream.

Bseisu added: “Kraken is a transformational project, made possible by EnQuest’s differential capabilities; the right mix of integrated technical capabilities, high levels of efficiency and cost discipline.

“With production from Kraken, EnQuest is moving from a period of heavy capital investment, to a focus on cash generation and deleveraging the balance sheet.”

Located in the East Shetland basin, Kraken has been touted to be among the largest new oil fields in the North Sea to have come onstream since Buzzard.

The heavy oil accumulation field contains 128 MMboe of gross 2P reserves. Its gross peak oil production has been estimated to be around 50,000 barrels of oil per day.

In February, EnQuest announced the arrival of the Kraken Floating Production Storage and Offloading (FPSO) at the Kraken oilfield where it has been hooked up with the Submerged Turret Production (STP) buoy mooring system.

EnQuest holds 70.5% in the Kraken development project while the remainder 29.5% interest is held by its development partner Cairn Energy.