NORTH Sea oil and gas independent RockRose is continued its expansion by acquiring a stake in an undeveloped field that it expects to be brought into production.

London-based RockRose said it had agreed to buy a 20.43% interest in three blocks east of Aberdeen containing the Arran field from Korean-owned Dana Petroleum for a nominal consideration.

The company said the acquisition would allow it to add 5.7 million barrels to its reserves with the prospect of around 3,500 barrels oil equivalent per day production.

Executive chairman Andrew Austin said: “This is an exciting addition to RockRose’s portfolio providing a near-term development opportunity which adds significantly to the Group’s reserves and future production.

Directors expect a field development plan for Arran will be submitted to the regulator in September.

RockRose said it will be partnered in the field by Royal Dutch Shell, Zennor North Sea and Dyas UK.

It is expected that Arran will be developed as a subsea to the Shell operated Shearwater platform.

RockRose is one of a number of independents that aims to capitalise on the opportunities created by the crude price plunge that started in 2014.

This has prompted some oil and gas firms to sell off North Sea assets, possibly to raise cash to invest elsewhere or to reduce their debt and funding commitments.

RockRose was formed by Mr Austin, a former investment banker, in 2015 with the aim of generating good returns in a sub $50 per barrel oil price environment.

The London-listed company bought Dutch North Sea assets containing 13m barrels reserves from Dyas in May, for €107m (£96m).