THE Parkmead Group run by oil and gas entrepreneur Tom Cross is lining up more North Sea deals after making what it called an important acquisition in the area.

Aberdeen-based Parkmead said it had completed the purchase of 50 per cent stakes in two blocks off eastern England that it believes have great exploration potential, and which it agreed in May.

The purchase of the stakes from Verus Petroleum for an undisclosed sum gave Parkmead 100 per cent control of acreage that contains a gas prospect and four further leads.

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“We are delighted to double our stake in this attractive area, which expands Parkmead’s portfolio in the Southern Gas Basin,” said Mr Cross, who noted the company has enjoyed success with exploration and appraisal wells in the area.

He said the technical and commercial teams at Aim-listed Parkmead continue to assess further value-adding opportunities in the company’s core areas of the UK and Netherlands.

Mr Cross believes the downturn triggered by the crude price plunge has created opportunities that might help him build a business to rival the success of the Dana Petroleum business he developed.

Dana was bought by the Korea National Oil Corporation for £1.9 billion in 2010 after amassing a big portfolio of North Sea assets.

Mr Cross has said assets are for sale at attractive prices in the North Sea as some firms look to raise cash following four years of tough operating conditions.

Parkmead has completed four acquisitions since the crude price plunge started in 2014 and applied successfully for more UK exploration licences.

Meanwhile another North Sea veteran, Bruce Dingwall, has highlighted an improvement in the fortunes of the Trinidad and Tobago-focused business he now runs, Trinity Exploration and Production.

Mr Dingwall founded Trinity after running Aberdeen-based Venture Production, which held merger talks with Dana in 2004 and was acquired by Centrica for £1.3bn in 2009.

Trinity, which has an office in Edinburgh, suffered production disruption related to Tropical Storm Bret in the first half but restored output levels in July. It said production is on an upward trajectory.

The firm has increased profits per barrel helped by the increase in the crude price since November and its efforts to increase efficiency.

Mr Dingwall said it has a clear growth strategy based on operating a diverse and deep portfolio of low-cost production and development assets. It is also listed on Aim.

Trinity completed a restructuring in January that ended a period of uncertainty for the business. It had incurred hefty losses after writing down the value of assets amid the crude price plunge.