Scottish-American oil firm Ziyen has produced oil for the first time and is now officially classified as an operator in the US.
The company, which has operations in Aberdeen, has kicked off production at the Potts lease in Indiana.
Ziyen buys the “mineral rights”, giving it control of what is produced, but the farmers still own the land and receive an eighth of the proceeds from production.
Ziyen intends use renewable energy to drive down costs.
The company was founded in 2016 by Inverness-born Alastair Caithness following his move from the north-east of Scotland to San Diego, California.
The business has built up a portfolio of 13 oil leases in the US.
Ziyen is about to close its second funding round, with a third round to follow. It has already attracted 350 investors, over half of whom are from Scotland.
The firm is targeting an initial public offering in 2019. It is in advanced preparations for Nasdaq stock market entry
Mr Caithness, chief executive, said: “The past year has seen Ziyen establish itself by increasing the number of oil assets the company now owns to 13.
“We have also attracted more than 350 investors for what is believed to be the world’s first start-up oil and energy company and who have all taken advantage of the opportunity to invest at the early stages of the company and secure equity at the best share price.
“With the closure of round two of funding and the move into oil production, this will allow Ziyen a higher valuation based under oil reserves rather than lease acquisition.
“This is another key part of the process of moving forward with our targeted IPO in 2019 in addition to the launch of our Ziyen Advantage programme in round three of funding, where we are positioning the company to be a leader involved in the transition of energy and the move from fossil fuels to renewable energy.”