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Business News

Enquest cashes in on rising oil prices


Enquest, the North Sea-focused oil company, posted a 145 per cent hike in profits yesterday as rising oil prices boosted its bottom line over the first half of the year.

Profits before tax and net finance costs climbed to $215.2m (£132.2m) in the six months to the end of June, up from just under $90m last year. The jump was down to a combination of rising oil prices, which meant that the price it achieved per barrel rose by 37 per cent to $106.72, and growing production, which was 35 per cent higher over the first half.

Although focused on the North Sea, Enquest's investment in developing fields in the region will allow it to offset the impact of higher taxes. In March, the Government raised the supplementary charge on North Sea oilcompanies to 32 per cent from 20 per cent, prompting widespread opposition from companies and industry groups alike.

"If we go ahead with Alma... and Crawford for instance, there are first-year allowances that you can deduct all of your expenditure on those projects against those taxes," Enquest chief operating officer Nigel Hares said, highlighting two potential developments.