‘I wish EnQuest the best of luck,’ says Xcite boss on Bentley’s ‘difficult’ find

A boss of Xcite Energy, who once owned the Bentley Discovery, wished new operator EnQuest good luck on the project.

EnQuest yesterday announced a deal worth up to $ 42million (£ 30million) to acquire Bentley, one of the North Sea’s largest untapped discoveries, from Whalsay Energy.

Whalsay has been the owner since buying Xcite for $ 1 in 2017, in debt by that company, which amounted to millions of pounds.

Steve Kew, former COO of Xcite, said there remains a big price tag for EnQuest at Bentley, which his old company estimated to have 300 million barrels recoverable.

The problem, he said, will be the cost, which would be a “challenge” for any business.

“We totally believe in the field, but the problem also, you have to be realistic, is that you have to look at $ 80 + a barrel,” he said.

“We could probably develop it for less than that, but it’s economical somewhere north of $ 80, closer to $ 90 a barrel.

“That’s the main thing, it will take a lot of wells to develop the field. It is not a field that can be drained with a few wells, it requires a lot of wells and that is where the expense is.

© Steve Kew / LinkedIn
Steve Kew, former COO of Xcite Energy

EnQuest also recently took over the Bressay field near Equinor, a neighboring heavy oil field.

Developing the pair in tandem would be “obvious,” Kew said.

“I think it’s obvious that they’re trying to develop both areas together. They have a common aquifer.

“It’s very likely that it’s the same area, or they’re very closely related. They must be developed synergistically. “

Bentley is located 85 miles southeast of Shetland and less than 10 miles from its Kraken production field.

EnQuest has already announced that it plans to develop Bressay via the Kraken FPSO but did not give the same clarification on Bentley.

EnQuest’s 100% share purchase agreement for Bentley will see it pay just $ 2 million in upfront costs, followed by up to $ 40 million based on future revenue generated.

The deal depends on a license extension from the Oil and Gas Authority (OGA), which is due to expire on June 30.

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