Xcite Energy (LON:XEL, CVE:XEL) has received third party validation of the potential of the Bentley North Sea field with construction giant AMEC gearing up to take a more involved role in the development of the project.
Already a member of the Bentley Alliance, formed in 2010 to exploit the potential of the heavy oil opportunity, AMEC has signed a memorandum of understanding (NASDAQ:MOU) covering "future cooperation to support the development" of the field.
The pair will shortly commence a front-end engineering and design programme, during which the terms for a wider services agreement are expected to be formulated, Xcite said.
This will include project and programme management and controls, further detailed engineering and design, fabrication management, sub-contractor management, hook-up and commissioning, it added.
Xcite chief executive Rupert Cole said: "We are very pleased to have developed our existing relationship with AMEC to create the basis for these commercial arrangements. I believe that AMEC's expertise and track record in delivering major UK Continental Shelf offshore and heavy oil projects will complement the company's own skillset to deliver a best in class development programme.
"This is another industry confirmation of Bentley as one of the largest development-ready North Sea fields and provides further, complementary support to the current farm-out process as we progress towards development."
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