North Sea-focused EnQuest announced Monday that it has approved an increase in the scope and specification for its Alma/Galia project, with the objective of extending field life as well as operating costs and enabling a potential second-phase development. The firm said the changes are expected to extend the life of its FPSO (floating production storage and offloading) vessel at the field by up to 15 years.

With the extended field life, gross 2P reserves there have been increased from 29 million barrels of oil equivalent to 34 million barrels of oil equivalent, according to estimates from Gaffney Cline. The improvements at the field are expected to increase the gross capital expenditure for the project by approximately $200 million.

The firm added that it has also approved the sanctioning of the next phase of the Thistle field’s late life extension project. This was a result of the project qualifying for the Brown Field Allowances program, which was announced by the UK government in late 2012.

Meanwhile, EnQuest reported production for 2012 of 22,802 barrels of oil equivalent per day (boepd), which was in line with its guidance of between 20,000 and 24,000 boepd. The firm said the figure reflected good year-end production performances from all of EnQuest’s fields.

EnQuest Chief Executive Amjad Bseisu commented in a statement:

“It is good to be able to report average production of 22,802 boepd for 2012, above the middle of the range of our guidance, which is a testament to the success of our drilling program and good reservoir management.

“First oil for the Alma/Galia project is still anticipated for Q4 2013. The first phase of the project is now expected to generate significantly greater returns than those foreseen at the time of sanction. The further increase to 34 million barrels of oil equivalent in gross 2P reserves for Alma/Galia represents a more attractive first phase development and, with the newly sanctioned improvements, more potential reserves with a second phase.”