Independent Oil and Gas (IOG) said today that the deadline for completing the purchase of the Thames pipeline had been extended once more.
The closing-date has been extended to allow the deal to go through in March.
The company said on February 1 that the cut-off point had been pushed back to the end of that month.
It has now been given more breathing room.
IOG revealed an agreement to buy the pipeline from Perenco UK, Tullow Oil and Centrica last April.
It forms a vital part of IOG’s plans to develop gas fields in the southern North Sea.
IOG will use the pipeline to export gas from its Blythe and Vulcan Satellite hubs to the Bacton Gas Terminal.
Pigging, or cleaning, of the pipeline started last week with onshore mechanical preparation work at the Bacton Terminal.
Initial pigging and pressure test results are expected by late April or early May.
IOG said the extension would not affect its plans to submit a field development plan for the gas hubs in August.
First gas is planned in the fourth quarter of 2019.
Chief executive Andrew Hockey said: “We are pleased to have commenced the first stage of the Thames Pipeline Intelligent Pigging Programme, which is an essential step in confirming to all stakeholders that our proven and fully-owned reserves of over 300 BCF can be produced safely and efficiently via the Thames Pipeline.
“We are also pleased to advance further towards completing this unique acquisition. The sale and recommissioning of a decommissioned pipeline is unprecedented in the UKCS. This has created regulatory complexities and we are grateful for the support from all of our partners, the sellers and the relevant authorities in helping us achieve a successful completion very soon. Owning high-capacity export infrastructure will be a major strategic advantage in further developing our UK Southern North Sea portfolio.”