Ithaca Energy said yesterday it had completed the installation of the Jacky oil field platform and associated pipelines in the inner Moray Firth.
The Canadian oil and gas operator, which is wholly focused on the UK North Sea, said installation of the platform and pipelines was a major step in the process of bringing the field on stream.
Remaining activities will be completion and tie-in of the already drilled Jacky production well and minor modifications to the nearby Beatrice field infrastructure to accommodate Jacky production.
Ithaca said Jacky was likely to come on stream in mid-March and was expected to produce at an initial rate of about 7,500 barrels of oil per day (bpd).
It added that the installation of the normally unmanned Jacky platform had been delayed by adverse weather conditions over the past two months, and this, along with significant exchange-rate shifts, had meant project costs were likely to be 20-24% above the original estimate of £59.7million.
As part of the Jacky development project, Ithaca is also re-instating production from the closed-in Beatrice Bravo platform, which was producing about 800bpd when it was shut in by the previous field owners in July 2007. Jacky is now owned by Ithaca (67.3% and operator), Dyas (22.7%) and North Sea Energy (10%) and is being developed via a well tied back to the Beatrice field.
Ithaca chief executive Iain McKendrick said: “This major milestone in the development of the Jacky field removes much of the uncertainty over the project schedule and cost.
“The Jacky field is significant to Ithaca as it will add substantial cash flow over and above our already producing Beatrice field.”