By Kristy Dorsey

Upstream independent Jersey Oil & Gas has hailed its Greater Buchan Area (GBA) project as “one of the most exciting developments in the North Sea” following an increase in the estimated amount of resources remaining within its vintage fields.

Reporting its results for the year to the end of December, the AIM-listed minnow said core contingent resources are now pegged at 172 million barrels of oil equivalent (MMboe), up from 124 MMboe in 2019.

During 2020 Jersey successfully aggregated its portfolio of discovered resources across the GBA, where it now has 100 per cent control. A farm-out process is currently underway to find a partner who will provide “material funding” to the project.

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The plans include redevelopment of the Buchan field as part of a major new production hub that will be powered by an electrified platform supplied with electricity from shore. The field was shut down by its previous owner, Repsol Sinopec, in 2017 after 36 years in production.

The GBA includes the Buchan, Verbier, J2 and Glenn oil discoveries, along with additional “significant exploration upside”.

“The GBA project will be a major investment for the UK, create many jobs and ultimately produce a vital domestically-sourced and low-carbon supply of energy,” chief executive Andrew Benitz said. “Our shareholder support is continually appreciated, and it is only through their investment that we can achieve our plans.”

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In March, Jersey raised £16.6 million in an oversubscribed share placing to further the GBA project. The company also boosted its in-house expertise with several new appointments, and expects to hire further people as the GBA project moves into the next phase of front-end design.

Turning to its financial results, the pre-revenue company finished 2020 with £5.1m of cash and no debt. Pre-tax losses were £2.8m.

“There are substantial costs to be incurred in taking the GBA development through to first oil, which will require additional funding,” the company said. “However we are confident that this project, by virtue of its size, location and low-carbon, electrically-powered credentials, will be of interest to many industry participants.”

Shares in Jersey closed yesterday’s trading more than 6% higher at 156p.