JERSEY Oil & Gas has reinforced its faith in the Verbier find in the North Sea despite reporting disappointing results on recent appraisal drilling.

The North Sea minnow stoked excitement among sector watchers in October 2017 when it declared the discovery may contain up to 130 million barrels in the Moray Firth. It then saw its share price plummet earlier this month after it said estimates for the find were likely to be towards the lower end of the 25 million to 130 million barrel range.

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Jersey noted yesterday that it has been advised by Equinor, field operator and majority shareholder in the licence containing Verbier, had confirmed the full revaluation of the area will be delivered by June. It said the evaluation will include assessment of deeper targets and other previously identified opportunities within the area, including Cortina, before recommending whether to undertake future appraisal or exploration activity. Shares in Jersey slipped nine cent to 68.5p, having surged to 358p when the Verbier find was first announced.

Chief executive Andrew Benitz remained upbeat over the find’s potential. He said: “The appraisal well results were disappointing for us all, however we believe there is still plenty to play for in terms of both the Verbier discovery and in the remainder of our acreage and we look forward to receiving the new fully processed 3D seismic to help us de-risk the licence further.

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“I am delighted, therefore, that the co-venturers are aligned in implementing the requisite immediate work streams with the objective of assessing potential future appraisal and exploration drilling opportunities on the licence area.”

Mr Benitz’s comments came as Jersey said the West Phoenix semi-submersible rig which drilled the Verbier appraisal well has now moved away. The well was drilled safely and below budget.

Equinor holds a 70 per cent stake in the licence, with co-venturers Jersey holding 18% and CIECO V&C (UK) 12%.