Ithaca Energy said yesterday that most of this year’s £224million capital expenditure would go on the Greater Stella Area (GSA) development in the North Sea.
The Aberdeen-based oil and gas firm will fund the 2013 programme from a mixture of cash, anticipated cash flow and an existing debt deal.
The investment will include completing modifications to the FPF-1 production vessel at the Remontowa shipyard in Poland.
Development drilling at GSA, 147 miles south-east of Peterhead in the central North Sea, is due to start in the next few months.
The project is likely to involve up to five production wells on the Stella field and two further production wells on nearby Harrier.
Expected production from GSA is about 30,000 barrels of oil equivalent per day, with 16,000 barrels net to Ithaca.
Future work on the nearby Hurricane field will be integrated into the GSA work programme. The North Sea-focused firm also said output for the last quarter of 2012 was 6,631 barrels a day; within the firm’s guidance range, despite temporary shutdowns at the Anglia and Topaz fields because of problems with gas export infrastructure.
Both fields came online again last month.
Output in the quarter was boosted by Ithaca’s recent acquisition of interests in the Cook and MacCulloch fields from Noble Energy and from the first full quarter’s contribution from Athena; which is producing 2,250-2,475 barrels of oil net. The company forecasts daily net production in 2013 to be 6,000-6,700 barrels of oil equivalent per day, including about 1,000 from the ex-Noble stakes.
About 90% is expected to be oil production.
The output forecast takes into account an anticipated water breakthrough on Athena, planned maintenance and the temporary shutdown of MacCulloch due to suspected damage from extreme weather in the North Sea. MacCulloch operator ConocoPhillips is investigating the damage and the schedule for reinstating production.