North Sea exploration firm i3 Energy has confirmed it is set to start drilling work on an appraisal well in the Liberator field in the Outer Moray Firth.
The company’s chief operating officer (COO) said i3 Energy were only waiting on Dolphin Drilling getting sign off on a drill rig to begin work.
Liberator will be drilled using the Dolphin Drilling owned Borgland Dolphin, an anchored semi-submersible mobile drilling rig.
Work is due to begin before August 15 and is scheduled to last 35 days.
The appraisal well will be drilled by oilfield services firm Petrofac.
John Woods, i3Energy’s COO, said the firm were only waiting on “clearing the final rig acceptance process” before drilling could begin.
On the Liberator field he added: “With these wells are looking at a 70 to 80% sucess rate, so we’re hopeful.”
i3 Energy said the Borgland Dolphin rig will drill a pilot for a future production well on the Liberator field, along with appraisal wells on the Liberator West extension and the nearby Serenity prospect.
The company, based in Westhill, Aberdeenshire, and its portfolio of wholly-owned assets may contain over 200 million barrels of oil equivalent.
Chief executive Majid Shafiq said the programme could “transform” i3 into one of the “more significant oil producers” in the UK.
It also plans to develop Liberator as a subsea tieback to the Bleo Holm vessel, which is on lease to Repsol Sinopec Resources UK.
First oil is slated for 2020.
Launched in 2014, the firm is named i3 because its directors were formerly involved with other North Sea companies starting with the letter “i” – Ithaca Energy and Iona Energy.