NORTH Sea-focused i3 Energy has secured $7.6 million (£6.2m) backing from private investors to help fund work on the Liberator oil discovery in the Moray Firth. The company, which was founded by former Iona Energy directors Neill Carson and Graham Heath in 2014, raised the money in a private placing it said was significantly oversubscribed. Mr Carson said Liberator is an attractive development prospect which lies close to existing production facilities. He added: “We remain excited by the opportunity we see to grow our portfolio of assets in and beyond the North Sea and continue to actively pursue our staged acquisition growth strategy.” Hampshire-registered i3 acquired Liberator in December. Liberator was discovered by Korean-owned Dana Petroleum in 2013.