Independent petroleum producer Neptune Energy is considering increasing gas production from its Duva field, in the Norwegian North Sea, amid the supply crisis in Europe, reported Reuters.

The move comes in the wake of surging gas prices, which have touched record highs this week, following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

Neptune was cited by the news agency as saying in a statement: “We are evaluating the potential to accelerate some gas production from the Duva field beyond what was originally planned.

“The company plans to complete an evaluation and tests at the field by early April, and if those are successful, it would seek permission to produce more.

“Given a positive outcome, we will seek permission from the Norwegian oil and energy ministry to increase gas output as a contribution to alleviate the constrained market situation in Europe.”

The current overall petroleum production at the Duva field stands at 28,000 barrels of oil equivalent per day (boed), of which 5,000 is natural gas.

From the outset, the Duva oil and gas field had estimated reserves of approximately 71 million barrels of oil equivalent, of which 56% was gas.

Neptune operates the field with a 30% stake. Other partners include Polish PGNiG (30%), Japanese INPEX Idemitsu (30%), and HitecVision-backed Sval Energi (10%).

In November 2021, the owners of Neptune Energy Group were considering selling the firm in a deal that could be valued at up to $5bn.

Established by Sam Laidlaw in 2015, Neptune is backed by the CIC, and its funds are advised by Carlyle Group, and CVC Capital Partners.