North Sea-focused Jersey Oil and Gas has seen its shares surge around 13 per cent after the company said its plan for a major development in the Moray Forth has generated strong interest among potential investors.

Jersey said it is “actively engaged with multiple serious counterparties” that may farm in to its Greater Buchan Area (GBA) project. This could be one of the biggest completed in the North Sea for years.

The project will involve restarting production from the Buchan field which was shut down in 2017. This will be linked to a new production hub that could handle output from other finds in the area, including the Verbier discovery that Jersey made with Equinor in 2017.

Jersey launched the farm-out process during the slump in the industry triggered by the coronavirus crisis.

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Market conditions have improved significantly amid the recovery from the pandemic. This resulted in a surge in oil and gas prices which gathered fresh momentum after Russia attacked Ukraine.

Market developments have stimulated renewed investor interest in the North Sea as the UK seeks to reduce its reliance on imports of oil and gas.

HeraldScotland: North Sea exploration and development activity levels fell amid the downturn triggered by the pandemic Picture: Andrew Milligan/PANorth Sea exploration and development activity levels fell amid the downturn triggered by the pandemic Picture: Andrew Milligan/PA

Jersey noted: “ Recent geopolitical events, exacerbated by recent under investment in the upstream sector, have led to a material escalation in oil and gas prices that has served to underline the importance of maximising domestic energy supplies.

“The UK North Sea has only a limited number of readily executable oil and gas developments with the resource scale of the GBA.”

Describing GBA as a high-quality, development ready UK North Sea resource base of scale, chief executive Andrew Benitz said Jersey looked forward to concluding the farm-out process and moving into the next phase of activities. 

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In a presentation to investors published last year Jersey said GBA could contain around 130 million barrels recoverable oil.

Shares in the firm closed up 22p at 193p. It developed out of Trap Oil, which suffered hefty losses during the downturn that started in the North Sea in 2014.