INDEPENDENT Oil & Gas (IOG) has declared its Harvey licence in the Southern North Sea has the potential to become its biggest gas asset after the field was given a valuation of £79 million, writes Scott Wright.

Chief executive Mark Routh said the valuation, which emerged following a competent persons report carried out by consultant ERC Equipoise, has handed the company a “compelling case” for drilling on the licence. It is now actively considering when drilling can begin, having given a commitment to commence operations within two years, subject to approval and the extension of the licence by the Oil & Gas Authority.

Mr Routh said: “The value of Harvey is strengthened by the synergies with our Southern North Sea gas development hubs, notably shared use of a fully owned Thames Pipeline gas export route. Alongside these two hubs, the Harvey appraisal opportunity therefore represents very material upside to IOG even on the mid case volumes. We are therefore actively considering how soon we can drill the well. We look forward to updating all stakeholders in due course.”

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The news comes shortly after a study by ERC found IOG’s portfolio of Southern North Sea fields off England could be worth around £320m.