I3 shares rocket on Serenity discovery
Energy: Reserve thought to be geologically linked to Tain
Shares in North Sea operator i3 Energy rocketed yesterday after it said it planned to enter into talks with Repsol Sinopec Resources UK (RSRUK) to develop a new oil discovery.
I3, headquartered in Aberdeenshire, announced it had made a discovery at its Serenity prospect in the outer Moray Firth, with an estimated 197 million barrels of oil in place.
Serenity is believed to be geologically connected to RSRUK’s Tain project, which is already being developed as a tie-back to the Bleo Holm floating production, storage and offloading vessel.
That project is expected to be sanctioned in the second half of next year but i3 hopes a new plan for a joint Tain-Serenity scheme can be agreed.
I3 chief executive Majid Shafiq said: “The Tain field will have to be unitised. We’ll end up in a commercial negotiation with RSRUK so that we can arrange with them how the joint fields can be developed and built up.
“The OGA (Oil and Gas Authority) are aware of our interpretation of Serenity and that we believe it is connected to Tain.
“(RSRUK) are aware of that and we anticipate that will lead to an unitisation discussion and effectively a joint development of a single field called TainSerenity.”
News of the discovery sent i3 shares racing ahead by 46% to 40.9p.
Serenity was the second of a three-well drilling campaign for i3, which recently drilled a pilot well at nearby Liberator field.
Once Serenity is plugged and abandoned, the Borgland Dolphin semisubmersible rig will move back to Liberator to drill a pilot hole for a future development well.
i3 has revised its plans for developing Liberator, starting with a first phase targeting the recovery of around 23m barrels from four wells.
The latest data for
Liberator led to the estimate for the oil in place on Liberator being lowered to 63m barrels from 93m barrels. But the estimate for an area to the west of Liberator has increased to 396m from 226m previously.
I3 also wants to use Bleo Holm – leased to RSRUK – to develop Liberator, with the two “very close” to fully agreeing terms, according to Mr Shafiq.
Westhill-based i3 said it would be “efficient” to drill a full appraisal at Serenity around the time of first oil from Liberator, expected next year.
“The Oil and Gas Authority are aware of our interpretation of Serenity”
IN PLACE: The Tain project is already being developed as a tie-back to the Bleo Holm floating production, storage and offloading vessel