Pre-tax losses widened at Cluff Natural Resources (CLNR) in a first-half marked by flagship deals with energy giant Shell on its southern North Sea licences.
London-listed CLNR farmed out 70% of the licence containing the 100-million-barrel Pensacola prospect to Shell, which took over as operator.
A 3D seismic shoot on the licence was completed in August, and the partners are moving towards an investment decision on the drilling of a well later next year.
Shell also took up the option of a 50% interest in the 90-million barrel Selene prospect.
CLNR − which reported pre-tax losses of £1.56 million in the first six months of 2019, against a deficit of £795,000 a year ago − said a well investment decision for Selene could come before the end of this year.
CLNR, founded in 2012 by retired, North Sea oil pioneer Algy Cluff, also recently launched the farm-out process for the Dewar prospect.
A number of parties, including major oil and gas companies, have already expressed an interest in Dewar, in the central North Sea, CLNR said.
The farm-out process is scheduled to run for the next few months on Dewar, which holds 39.5 million barrels of prospective resources.
Chairman Mark Lappin said the future was bright for CLNR, with “good exploration prospects and a world-class business partner”.
Mr Lappin acknowledged that climate change was “very much at the forefront of people’s minds”.
He added that the UK should focus on domestic gas production and avoid becoming increasingly reliant on imports.