AIM-listed Jersey Oil & Gas expects that its rig in the North Sea will start drilling a well in the summer.

The explorer said that Statoil, the operator of licence P2170 in which the company holds an 18% stake in, is currently undertaking a tender process for a drilling rig and is expected to be awarded in the near future, in respect of the planned exploration well to be drilled on the Verbier prospect this summer.

Jersey is also benefitting from the 10% carried interest arrangement with its other co-venturer CIECO Exploration and Production for the reimbursement of related costs for the well programme.Statoil is funding all costs up to $25m for the drilling of the first exploration well on the licence.

In the company’s other licence, P1989, its partner Azinor Catalyst will drill an exploration well in the Partridge prospect later this year, and if a discovery is made that satisfies certain technical criteria, a $2m payment would be paid to the company from Azinor. If that discovery also results in an approval of a formal field development plan, a further $2m will be paid.

Jersey also said that it is involved in several potential sales of licences in the North Sea and is confident that its experience and knowledge will enable oty to deliver shareholder value from pending acquisitions.

Chief Executive Andrew Benitz said: “We are pleased to report the continued

progress being made by Statoil in preparation for drilling the Verbier prospect this summer, as well as our ongoing additional technical evaluation of the prospect.

“Our team also remains actively involved in multiple sales processes targeting possible production acquisitions in line with our stated strategy.”

Shares in Jersey Oil & Gas were up 4.63% to 203.50p at 1006 GMT has the option of up to two, one year extensions, will see iSURVEY provide non exclusive rig and surface positioning services, subsurface positioning and dimensional control and platform surveys to Shell’s mobile offshore drilling units.


THAT COULD COST TAXPAYERS MILLIONS Scottish Labour is to demand crisis-hit North Sea oil platforms are nationalised in a move that could cost taxpayers millions of pounds.

The party is expected to call for the state to step in by bringing key assets into temporary public ownership to prevent oil and gas reserves being “turned off prematurely.”

More than 100,000 workers in the sector are feared to have lost their jobs following the collapse in prices.

A motion to be discussed at the Scottish Labour conference in Perth on Friday urges both Holyrood and Westminster to “agree a

co-investment plan to support the industry, taking a public stake where necessary, to protect vital offshore infrastructure.”

The motion, which has been put forward by the Aberdeen South and North Kincardine branch, also calls for action from ministers to “maximise the opportunities from future decommissioning.”


FOR OFFICE AND HOSPITALITY PREMISES The Scottish finance secretary has promised to cap increases to business rates for hotels, bars, clubs, and restaurants; and North East office premises.

Derek Mackay says increases for the hospitality sector will be capped at 12.5% across Scotland.

The SNP government says that will aid 8,500 firms nationally.

Ahead of the announcement, hundreds of p6 | | March 2017

businesses had criticised the hikes and warned they could be forced to cut jobs or even close with firms potentially facing a near-doubling of rates in the current climate.

Mr Mackay vowed to find a “local solution” on a visit to the North East last month – and has now said rises will be limited to 12.5% for those owning offices in Aberdeen and Aberdeenshire too.

HIt is a turnaround for the Scottish government, who have been facing mounting pressure for weeks from North East business leaders and

politicians – as well as hoteliers across the country.

The relief measures are in place for the coming financial year, with the Barclay review of the rates ongoing.

Mr Mackay has moved to encourage Aberdeen City Council to follow Aberdeenshire’s example, in setting aside money to help businesses in other industries with the rates increases.

Aberdeenshire councillors agreed to set aside £3 million for a local relief scheme.

Latest official figures show North Sea oil has posted a loss for the taxpayer for the first year in its history.

The Treasury put £24million more into investment and decommissioning than it got back in petroleum revenue tax (PRT) in 2015/16.This could see both platforms and pipelines bought up and brought under state control.

It is the first time the oil balance sheet has been in the red since records began in 1968/69.

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