I3 Energy PLC (LON:I3E) has reported a discovery from its Serenity well in the North Sea.
Describing it as transformational, I3 said the well results were consistent with its pre-drill estimates of 197 million barrels of oil in place.
Along with Liberator, Serenity is one of two licences in the North Sea that are 100% owned by I3.
The company will carry out further appraisal work at Serenity to asses how best to develop that prospect with the rig that was used to drill the 13/23c-10 well now moving back to Liberator for a development pilot hole.
Majid Shafiq, chief executive, said: "The discovery of the Serenity oilfield, a potentially very large oil resource, is a transformational event for i3 Energy plc. We now have proven oil in a second structure on our licenses.
“It is the culmination of three years of detailed geological and reservoir analysis and validates our regional model for the Liberator and Serenity oilfields and neighbouring structures".
“We will now integrate data from the 13/23c-10 well into our geological modelling as we develop an appraisal and development plan for Serenity, which we believe is connected to the undeveloped Tain oilfield,” he added
I3 said it has now combined results from the recent Liberator 13/23c-9 well with seismic data to formulate a development programme for that prospect.
Phase 1 will target 63mln barrels of oil in place at Liberator through the drilling of up to four wells with recoverable reserves expected to be 23mln barrels.
A phase two exploration programme will target an additional 396mln barrels.
The company has an option over the rig until the end of January with the owner agreeing to defer payment into 2020 to allow the third well in the programme to be completed.
Funding talks are ongoing to allow I3 to develop Liberator on its own without having to bring in a partner, which might include a US$100mln reserve-based lending facility depending on drill results.
“This result also adds confidence to our revised mapping of the Liberator field, which utilises the same reprocessed seismic dataset now used to map the Serenity field, and integrates data from the recently drilled 13/23c-9 Liberator well,” said Shafiq.