PARKMEAD Group chief executive Tom Cross has said the oil and gas company is well placed to make further acquisitions after achieving good progress in recent months.

The Aberdeen-based company doubled gross profits to £1.4million in the six months to 31 December helped by increasing production from acreage in the Netherlands it acquired under Mr Cross.

The oil and gas entrepreneur noted Parkmead can produce gas at the equivalent of $10 per barrel oil equivalent from its four fields in the country.

This has allowed the company to generate plenty of cash from the production, even amid the challenges posed by the sharp fall in the oil price since 2014.

It had around £24 million in the bank at 31 December and is debt free.

“Parkmead is well positioned for the future,” said Mr Cross, who grew Dana Petroleum into a £1.9bn business with a big North Sea portfolio.

“We have excellent regional expertise, significant cash resources, and a growing, low-cost gas portfolio.”

Noting that Parkmead plans to continue with its acquisition led growth strategy, Mr Cross said the Aim-listed firm is working intensively to evaluate and execute further opportunities.

These include oil and gas assets, and wider energy-related opportunities in areas such as renewables.

Mr Cross’s confidence in the acquisition strategy has been boosted by the progress it has achieved with plans to develop the Greater Perth Area fields in the Moray Firth. The company reckons this is one of the largest undeveloped oil projects in the North Sea.

It is assessing the potential to develop the fields by linking them with the Nexen-operated Scott platform nearby.

Parkmead said it got a strong response from services firms to an invitation to tender to provide engineering services to help the company firm up development plans for Greater Perth.

Some of the proposals received offered finance for major parts of the development.

Mr Cross, a former Entrepreneur of the Year, has noted the costs of services such as drilling support have fallen sharply in the area amid cuts in spending by many oil and gas firms in response to the crude price plunge.

The downturn has also created opportunities to buy assets at attractive prices. Some companies have offloaded assets to focus on core interests.

While the partial recovery in the crude price has encouraged some firms to start investing in North Sea projects again, conditions in the supply chain remain tough.

In February Parkmead increased its stake in the Greater Perth Area fields to 100 per cent after acquiring the 39.95 per cent stake formerly held by Faroe Petroleum.

Mr Cross said Parkmead’s oil and gas reserves grew by some 67%, to 46.3m barrels oil equivalent. as a result.

He joined Parkmead after Korea National Oil Corporation bought Dana for Pounds £1.9bn in 2010.

Parkmead said detailed technical work had allowed the company to release non-core acreage, such as licence P. 1566 in the Southern North Sea off England considerably reducing licence costs.

This resulted in an impairment charge of £4.5m. Parkmead lost £4.1m before tax in the first half, down from £4.5m last time.