Phase 1 will target 63 million barrels of oil in place through the drilling of up to four wells with recoverable reserves expected to be 23 million barrels and a phase two exploration programme will target an additional 396 million barrels.

It was reported the company is seeking collaboration with Repsol Sinopec following the discovery at its Serenity prospect in the outer Moray Firth, with estimates of 197million barrels of oil in place. Serenity is believed to be geologically connected to RSRUK’s Tain project, which it is developing as a tie-back to the Bleo Holm floating production, storage and offloading vessel (FPSO). That project is expected to be sanctioned in the second half of next year but I3 hopes a new plan for a joint Tain-Serenity scheme can be agreed. I3 chief executive Majid Shafiq said:

“The Tain field will have to be unitised. It is connected to Serenity as we believe this shows. We’ll end up in a commercial negotiation with RSRUK so that we can arrange with them how the joint fields can be developed and built up. The OGA are aware of our interpretation of Serenity and that we believe it is connected to Tain, "RSRUK are aware of that and we anticipate that will lead to an unitisation discussion and effectively a joint development of a single field called Tain-Serenity.” Mr Shafiq added that there has already been “initial discussions” with RSRUK on Serenity. RSRUK’s partner RockRose, who owns 50% in Tain, said it will “work to understand fully its implications for the Tain development project”.

I3 also wants to use the Bleo Holm vessel, leased to RSRUK, to develop Liberator, with the two “very close” to fully agreeing terms, according to Mr Shafiq. The firm said it would be “efficient” to drill a full appraisal at Serenity around the time of first oil from Liberator, expected next year. Chief financial officer Graham Heath said: “For us today Liberator has been our top priority because it’s nearest to development.

“Discussions with RSRUK for that field and, obviously our progress with the OGA, on a field development plan are nearer-term for us than Serenity. Albeit that the RSRUK-RockRose partnership are moving forward with a FDP for Tain which we would potentially phase Serenity into. We’re going to go back to Liberator next to drill that next well…

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