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Valiant for sale after lack of North Sea success

The North Sea minnow Valiant Petroleum has admitted it is considering hoisting a for-sale sign after a lack of success with exploration this year.

The surprise announcment from the oil and gas company, which has called in Morgan Stanley to undertake a strategic review of its options, saw its shares rise as much as 10 per cent, before closing up 4 per cent at 490p.

Small oil and gas companies like Valiant have persisted with operations in the North Sea in the hope of big discoveries despite declining production levels in the region. Its larger rival Enquest is seen as a potential suitor.