Ithaca expects first oil from Stella in February

North Sea oil & gas operator Ithaca Energy is expecting to produce first hydrocarbons from the Stella field in the UK North Sea in February, following repairs on the production facility. 

To remind, following a routine inspection in November last year Ithaca found faults on a number of electrical junction boxes on the unit’s processing facilities. The start-up, previously expected in November, was then pushed for January 2017 to make room for repairs.

The company said on Thursday that the electrical junction box inspection and remediation work program is now nearing completion.

Les Thomas, Chief Executive Officer, commented: “The painstaking electrical inspection program on the FPF-1 is nearing completion and the vessel will shortly be ready for start-up of the Stella field. While this will have taken longer than planned, the transformational step it delivers for the business remains undiminished.”

The company also noted that preparation for start-up of the Stella field is well advanced, with only completion of the previously announced fault remediation works on the FPF-1 electrical junction boxes outstanding prior to the delivery of first hydrocarbons.

The inspection and repair program has been progressing well, with the work now in the latter stages of completion, although challenging offshore weather conditions have impacted the pace of activities on the vessel at times. Conclusion of the work is now expected to push the beginning of Stella production into February 2017.

Following the expected 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 Ithaca-operated Greater Stella Area is located in the heart of the Central Graben area of the Central North Sea, on the UK Continental Shelf. The Greater Stella Area licenses contain the Stella and Harrier fields, approved for development in April 2012.

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.

Offshore Energy Today Staff

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