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i3 Energy shares rise as it sets up an active programme for 2019

The North Sea firm is working to bring the Liberator into development, and, with active operational plans and funding efforts appearing close to a conclusion it is set for a significant 2019.
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Appraisal drilling is slated to start in June

i3 Energy plc (LON:i3E) shares advanced as it signed a letter of intent for a multi-well drill programme that’s intended to take the Liberator field to the cusp of production.

The ambitious North Sea oiler also told investors that it has received proposals regarding offtake terms for Liberator’s future production, and, provided an update about its ongoing project financing work.

It said that it is presently negotiating terms for US$100-130mln of debt to fund appraisal drilling and the Phase 1 Liberator development capital expenditure. An agreement is expected in the near-term, the company said.

WATCH: i3 Energy team discuss multi-well drill campaign and development plans for 2019

I3 also highlighted that it had seen a “strong response” in its joint venture farm-out process.

Several companies are conducting due-diligence and a bid date is likely to be set in February, it added.

"We are very pleased with the progress we are making to move the Liberator field towards development and with the ongoing technical maturation of the upside in our acreage to drill-ready status,” said Majid Shafiq, i3 chief executive.

“We look forward to the completion of our field development plan and funding initiatives and the commencement of a very exciting drilling programme this summer."

Investor excitement around North Sea growth shares

Evidently, the encouraging project update has come at a good time in regards to investor sentiment.

It coincides with a rally in underlying crude oil markets and as DNO’s hostile takeover of Faroe Petroleum which has speculators seeking out AIM’s next breakout independent oil and gas stock.

At the same time, the Faroe takeover battle also underlies the appetite for new North Sea opportunities among larger oil and gas firms.

I3 Energy shares were up 8.72p or 16.78% in Wednesday’s early deals changing hands at 60.72p.

Multi-well drill programme opens up catalysts for investors

The initial rig agreement announced today envisages three wells.

One is the A3 appraisal well in the Liberator West area, slated to start in June. Another will be the first Liberator field production well (which will be labelled the L2 well).

The third will be the S1 exploration well, which will be a test of the Serenity prospect.

I3 believes the A3 and S1 wells could, if successful, open up an additional 200mln barrels of potential production.

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