I3 shares rocket on Seren­ity dis­cov­ery

En­ergy: Re­serve thought to be ge­o­log­i­cally linked to Tain

The Press and Journal (Aberdeen and Aberdeenshire) - - BUSINESS - BY AL­LIS­TER THOMAS

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

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