Independent Oil and Gas (IOG) has said it expects the Maersk Resilient drilling rig to arrive at its Harvey prospect by the end of the month.
The Southern North Sea development is forecast by management to hold recoverable gas of between 85 and 199bllion cubic feet.
Earlier this year IOG inked a deal with Maersk Drilling for use of the jack-up rig, with the well expected to take up to two months to drill.
Meanwhile IOG said a farm-out process for its flagship “Core Project” has “progressed substantially” with further updates expected this month.
The development comprises 410 billion cubic feet of gas across six different fields.
IOG is aiming to sanction the project this summer.
The firm is also in advanced exclusive discussions to acquire the reception facilities for the Thames pipeline system at the Bacton Gas Terminal, from joint owners the Thames Partners.
IOG’s statement made no reference to a takeover bid earlier this year by RockRose Energy, which was later withdrawn.
Chief executive Andrew Hockey said: “We are pleased to confirm that we are on schedule to drill our exciting appraisal well at Harvey. The well is a major catalyst for IOG, potentially proving up a substantial, high-quality reservoir in the heart of our core area, close to our fully-owned Thames Pipeline.
“Final preparations are underway and the summer drilling slot should help to minimise weather-related operational risks in executing the well.
“Needless to say, our primary focus remains to progress the funding of our Core Project to FID and in particular the farm-out process. We are highly motivated to deliver a farm-out transaction that can enable us to progress to FID this summer.
“We look forward to updating our shareholders on progress on these key milestones for the Company.”