First oil flows from Stella field, Ithaca says

North Sea oil and gas operator Ithaca Energy has started up production from the Stella field located in the UK sector of the North Sea.

The Ithaca-operated Greater Stella Area licenses, located in the heart of the Central Graben area, contain the Stella and Harrier fields, approved for development in April 2012.

According to a statement from Ithaca on Friday, production as well as oil export to the adjacent shuttle tanker has started.

The oil company added that the production ramp-up phase will start when the on-going commissioning of the gas processing and compression facilities is complete.

The development is centered on the drilling of subsea wells tied back to the FPF-1 floating production unit, with the onward transportation of processed hydrocarbons to nearby existing oil and gas export infrastructure. The FPF-1 is moored on location using twelve pre-installed anchor chains.

The long-awaited start-up of the Stella field was pushed back several times during the development. The most recent issue that delayed the start up arose in November when a routine inspection found faults on a number of electrical junction boxes on the unit’s processing facilities. The start-up was then pushed from November to January to make room for repairs. However, the repairs took longer than expected pushing the start-up all the way up to February.

Following Stella start-up, Ithaca is hoping to increase its production levels from 2016 average production of 9,300 boepd to somewhere in the range of 19,000 to 22,000 boepd for 2017.

The North Sea company was recently approached for a takeover by the Israeli energy company Delek Group.

Offshore Energy Today Staff

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