North Sea operator i3 Energy has handed back the licence for its flagship Liberator field after deeming the resources “sub-commercial”.
The Aberdeenshire-headquartered firm was given “operator” status by the Oil and Gas Authority (OGA) in 2016 after it acquired 100% of the P1987 licence.
i3 Energy was targeting 23million barrels of oil, from a total of 63million in place, at the Liberator field.
However, an independent competent person report has shown the field does “not represent a viable commercial development”.
It comes after i3 said in September that Liberator had yielded “unexpectedly poor” drilling results following an appraisal campaign, enough to “entirely neutralise” any expected rise in share price from news of its larger Serenity discovery, made the prior year.
i3 said it has reached the end of its two-year second term on the P1987 licence and has agreed to relinquish it back to the Oil and Gas Authority, rather than move into a third term.
Still on path to Serenity
The firm said this would result in a “significant saving” in licence fees and that it may choose to reapply for it in the future.
i3 stressed that the relinquishment has no impact on its P2358 licence which contains the vast majority of its resources and reserves, including the Serenity discovery.
Serenity was announced in October 2019 as a 200million-barrel discovery in the outer Moray Firth, described as a “transformational event” for the firm by CEO Majid Shafiq.
i3 started its four-year second term on P2358, which also contains the Liberator West and Minos High areas, in September, “which will be the focus of plans for appraisal and exploration drilling”, it said.
Back in October 2019, i3 said it believed Serenity to be linked to Repsol Sinopec’s Tain prospect and hoped to develop a joint project via the Spanish-Chinese venture’s Bleo Holm FPSO.
Dolphin Drilling won appraisal work for Serenity in March 2020.