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More North Sea oil pending

Independent energy company says testing may show it's on the verge of victory.

By Daniel J. Graeber
Testing may confirm a portfolio milestone for a company working in the northern waters of the North Sea. File photo by Maryam Rahmanian/UPI | <a href="/News_Photos/lp/4349a20a58710c7b85d1854d17cb87a9/" target="_blank">License Photo</a>
Testing may confirm a portfolio milestone for a company working in the northern waters of the North Sea. File photo by Maryam Rahmanian/UPI | License Photo

LONDON, Aug. 17 (UPI) -- Sending samples off to a Scottish testing site is an important step in confirming millions of barrels of oil for development, a North Sea-focused company said.

Independent Oil and Gas said it was sending oil pulled from its Skipper discovery in the northern waters of the North Sea for testing.

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"The initial data acquired from the Skipper well, our first operated well, is an excellent result," CEO Mark Routh said in a statement. "This is a significant step for [our company] towards achieving the target of being a company with 100 million barrels of oil equivalent heading for development, in assets 100 percent owned as operator."

The company said testing results may show the oil found in the Skipper well is of a characteristic that would require fewer wells to produce than previously thought, which may influence the baseline development costs.

Doubts over the future of North Sea operations emerged in the wake of the British referendum in June. With new drilling plans emerging in Norwegian waters, the government in Oslo said total oil production offshore in July was 18 percent higher than June, 10 percent higher year-on-year and 9 percent above what it expected.

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Routh said the company's field development plans are subject to funding and regulatory approval.

"We now move on to drill the exploration prospects, where any further oil discoveries would provide additional upside and look forward to analyzing the results in order to progress the Skipper field development plan as soon as possible," he said.

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