Spirit Energy will drill a new well in a bid to deliver more than 4.2 million additional barrels of oil equivalent from a southern North Sea field.
The exploration and production firm said the new infill well could extend the life of the Grove field by five years to 2028.
Spirit has handed a contract worth £8.2 million to Maersk Drilling for the use of its Maersk Resolve jack-up rig.
In total, the project could cost around £30m.
Drilling on the north-east part of Grove is scheduled to start during the current quarter, with production start-up on the slate for Q3.
The field is on the UK continental shelf close to the median line with the Netherlands.
Gas is sent across the boundary from the unmanned Grove platform to Spirit’s Markham J6-A installation in the Dutch North Sea for processing.
It is then transported via the West Gas Transport pipeline system to the Den Helder terminal in the Netherlands.
Spirit has a 92.5% stake in the licence and RockRose Energy has 7.5%.
The Greater Markham Area (GMA) produced first gas in 1992 and comprises the Markham, Chiswick, Grove and Kew fields.
Neil McCulloch, executive vice president, technical and operated assets, at Spirit Energy, said: “Based on the subsurface, well technical complexity, value and strategic fit criteria, we have decided on a platform deviated well.
“We believe this is the optimal way forward and a robust well design has been developed – our team is experienced in drilling similar wells in the southern North Sea, including other wells in the Grove area.
“It’s an investment that fits well with our strategy and is important to the GMA.”
Morten Kelstrup, chief operating officer of Maersk Drilling, said: “We’re excited to be able to build on our relationship with Spirit Energy with our first UK well for the customer, for whom we previously completed a highly successful subsea development campaign in Norway.
“We will surely be able to continue our close collaboration and mutual focus on operational excellence, and in addition the campaign at Grove will benefit from Maersk Resolve’s experience with safely and efficiently drilling challenging Zechstein formations as part of the rig’s latest assignment in Dutch waters.”
Alistair Macfarlane, area manager – SNS and EIS at the Oil and Gas Authority, said: “After a challenging time for the industry in 2020, we welcome this positive news for the basin, with activity at the Grove field bringing opportunities for the UK’s supply chain.”
Spirit launched in December 2017 as a result of a merger between Centrica’s exploration and production business and Bayerngas Norge.
British Gas owner Centrica has a 69% stake in the venture and Bayerngas Norge’s former shareholders, led by Stadtwerke München Group, hold 31%.
It employs more than 900 people and has offices in Staines-upon-Thames and Aberdeen in the UK, Stavanger in Norway and Hoofddorp in the Netherlands.
Bloomberg reported last month that Centrica had resumed talks over the sale of its stake in Spirit after putting the marketing process on ice earlier in 2020.