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Geophysical services provider Fugro has begun a site survey for oil and gas firm i3 Energy’s 2020 drilling programme in UK North Sea.

Fugro began work on the programme on 30 January and expects to complete it this month.

According to i3 Energy, the ongoing site survey will cover the remaining areas of Serenity and Liberator West’s Minos High structures. i3’s 2019 site survey did not cover these structures.

i3 said that this survey will enable the company to complete the necessary permitting process for further appraisal drilling on its licenses. It anticipates that this will begin in late summer.

The company has also provided an update on the departure of its chairman.

i3 Energy CEO Majid Shafiq said: “The entire team at i3 extends its thanks to David for his stewardship of the company since its listing onto AIM in 2017. He has been a ‘hands-on’ leader and has been critical in our decision-making process and he will be greatly missed.

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“The company will conduct a formal search for a replacement, while Linda Beal oversees i3 as interim chair.

“The team is very much looking forward to conducting a high-impact drilling campaign starting in late summer and the ongoing site survey being conducted by Fugro will ensure we have the data required to appraise anywhere within the mapped extents of Serenity or Liberator.”

In December, Fugro completed the first deepwater autonomous underwater vehicle (AUV) site survey for oil and gas firm Brunei Shell Petroleum (BSP).

In October, the company completed several deepwater geophysical surveys in the US Gulf of Mexico (GoM) for exploration and production firm Shell International.