Bosses of former oil and gas company Ithaca Energy revealed plans to raise $50million (£38.6million) in a flotation on AIM.
i3 Energy, founded by Neill Carson and Graham Heath, expects to be admitted to the junior market within weeks.
The money will be used to develop the company’s North Sea Liberator licence, which it acquired for a “low cost” from Dana Petroleum in December.
Current reports estimate the licence could have 51million barrels of oil equivalent initially in place.
i3 expects first oil could be achieved by the first quarter of 2018, and heads of terms to drill two wells on the prospect have been signed with driller Diamond Offshore, Baker Hughes and Petrofac.
Earlier this year i3 raised £6.2million in a private placing to develop the field in the outer Moray Firth. The company is looking at a development plan which will see oil exported through the Blake field and the Bleo Holm FPSO, operated by Repsol Sinopec, although details have yet to be confirmed.
The company’s intention to float document said: “The directors believe the company will reach an agreement with the Blake Partners in due course, as the asset and development options fit strongly within the UK Oil and Gas Authority’s initiative and legislation to maximise the economic recovery of reserves through the utilisation of existing infrastructure.”
The company, which was founded in 2014, is named i3 because the directors were formerly involved with other North Sea companies starting with the letter “i” – Ithaca Energy and Iona Energy.
Aberdeen-headquartered Ithaca agreed to a £1billion takeover by Israel’s Delek Group earlier this year.
Iona went into administration early in 2016 after failing to restructure its finances.
Mr Heath, who worked with Mr Carson at Iona for four years, is chief financial officer at i3.
Mr Carson, i3’s chief executive, said: “I am delighted to announce our intention to float i3 Energy on AIM. We have a strong technical team with significant North Sea expertise and an excellent track record of delivering development projects in the area. We are hugely excited by the opportunity we see in the UK North Sea and are confident that we have the right team and strategy to bring the high-quality Liberator field cluster into development and grow the business through our targeted acquisition strategy.”
Mr Heath added: “i3 is at an exciting stage of growth and proceeds from our listing will be used to fund the development of the Liberator field, a high return,
low-cost discovery targeting first oil in Q1 2018 at a rate of 7,300 barrels of oil equivalent per day.
“We are delighted with the support we have received to date from our existing investors. We see this as a strong endorsement of our asset and team and look forward to welcoming our new investors once i3 lists on AIM.”
Further directors of i3 include non-executive chairman David Knox, former chief executive of Santos and non-exec Majid Shafiq, formerly managing director of FirstEnergy Capital and currently chief executive of Argentil Capital Partners. Richard Ames, former vice president of TNK-BP, Sidanco and Amoco also joins the board as non-executive director.