NORTH Sea-focused Parkmead Group has shown confidence in the potential of a heavy oil find that has been left undeveloped off Scotland for years.

The Aberdeen-based group led by entrepreneur Tom Cross has acquired an interest in the Fynn Beauly find north east of Aberdeen in the latest offshore licensing round.

In its announcement of the award Parkmead underlined the potential scale of the find, which was made by BP in 1978. It noted that Fynn Beauly extends across several blocks and has been estimated to contain up to 1.3 billion barrels.

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It is one of a number of undeveloped heavy oil discoveries in the UK North Sea which have attracted renewed interest.

The costs involved in extracting and refining heavy oil have deterred firms from developing finds. However, advances in technology have helped improve the economics of heavy oil developments.

Cairn Energy and EnQuest brought the 130 million barrel Kraken heavy oil field off Shetland into production in 2017.

EnQuest noted last week that production from Kraken increased by 19 per cent annually in the first half, to around 39,000 barrels of oil daily.

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The acreage Parkmead has been offered also includes the Fynn Andrew find, which is estimated to contain 50 million barrels.

Parkmead has been offered a block containing an extension of the Lowlander oil find nearby. It has raised the possibility of developing Lowlander with other finds in the Greater Perth Area.

The company has been offered an interest in a block close to the Tolmount gas find in the southern North Sea. Tolmount is being developed by Premier Oil and Dana Petroleum.

Mr Cross grew Dana into a significant North Sea player. It was bought by Korea’s KNOC for £1.9bn in 2010.

Mr Cross said yesterday the licence awards made to Parkmead demonstrated the strength of the firm’s energy expertise and had the potential to extend the company’s asset base as it developed into a balanced energy group.

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Parkmead has broadened its focus to include renewable energy in recent months.The Aim market-listed company is considering plans to develop a big windfarm on land that it acquired in rural Aberdeenshire in September last year. It is producing gas from assets in the Netherlands.