UK-based oil and gas company i3 Energy has completed drilling of the Serenity 13/23c-10 well on the company’s fully owned Serenity prospect and discovered oil.

i3 said that the well results were consistent with its pre-drill estimates of 197 million barrels (MMbbls) of oil in place for the complete Serenity closure in the company’s licence area.

Along with Serenity, Liberator is one of the two licences in the North Sea. The company noted that it has now combined results from the recent Liberator 13/23c-9 well with seismic data to formulate a development programme for the prospect.

Phase 1 development will target 63MMbbls of oil in place at Liberator through the drilling of up to four wells with recoverable reserves expected to be 23MMbbls. A phase two exploration programme will target 396MMbbls, through future exploration drilling.

After the plugging and abandonment of Serenity well 13/23c-10, the semi-submersible rig Borgland Dolphin will mobilise to restart drilling on the Liberator field. The company has an option over the rig until the end of January 2020.

Funding negotiations are currently underway to allow i3 to develop Liberator on a 100% basis, which might include a $100m reserve-based lending facility depending on drill results.

i3 Energy CEO Majid Shafiq said: “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.

“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.”

In July 2019, i3 Energy awarded equipment and service contracts to Baker Hughes, as part of the company’s 2019 summer drilling programme on Liberator and Serenity assets and its 2020 Phase I development of Liberator.