Sound Oil has secured an approval from the Italian Government to drill a new well in the Carita licence, which includes the Nervesa gas discovery.

The Italian Ministry of Economic Development has granted drilling authorisation to the company for the second well.

Operations to prepare the site for the rig’s arrival are in progress.

"The second Nervesa well initiates Sound Oil’s busy 2015 drill programme."

Sound Oil chief executive officer James Parsons said: "The second Nervesa well initiates Sound Oil’s busy 2015 drill programme. We look forward to updating investors on the commencement of drilling and on the achievement of operational milestones.

"I will also be inviting investors to observe the operations through a daily webcam facility which has been installed on site, details of which will be made available shortly."

Italian energy firm Eni drilled the Nervesa structure in 1985 with two wells and proved gas-bearing in about 13 sand intervals within the Tortonian.

Celtique Energie acquired the permit in 2010. It is operated by Sound Oil.

Sound Oil acquired Celtique’s 50% stake in November 2011. The first well was drilled in July 2013 with 46m of net pay across 13 zones.

The Nervesa field has the potential of five further completions of the remaining 12 sand intervals at 1,829m to 1,964m depth.