Ithaca completes £228m Greater Stella acquisitions

Petrofac's FPF-1 unit
Petrofac's FPF-1 unit, which will be used on Ithaca's Greater Stella area development in the North Sea.

Ithaca Energy has completed its acquisitions of stakes in the Greater Stella Area from Petrofac and Dyas.

The Aberdeen headquartered company originally announced the deals in August.

Ithaca agreed to pay up to £228m for Petrofac’s 20% stake in the central North Sea production hub, along with its 24.8% interest in the FPF1 floating production facility.

The firm said it would pay an initial sum of £113m to Petrofac by or upon completion of the deal and a further £93.5m between 2020 and 2023.

Another £21.8m could also be paid depending on the field’s performance.

Ithaca, which was taken over by Israel’s Delek Group last year, has also bought Dyas UK’s 25% interest in GSA.

It makes Ithaca the sole owner and operator of the area, with its 2018 production forecast doubling to 22,000 barrels of oil per day.

Petrofac said the proceeds from the sale would be used to reduce debt as it looks to scale back involvement in oil production.

The Greater Stella Area licenses contain the Stella and Harrier fields, the Hurricane discovery and the Twister project.

Up to 30m barrels of oil could be recoverable from GSA, according to Ithaca, as well as a range of other potential discoveries surrounding the hub.

First oil from Stella was achieved in February 2017, but not before being hit by a raft of delays.

Start-up had been planned for as far back as 2012.

Among some of the delays was modifications on the £27m FPF-1 taking longer than expected at a shipyard in Poland, with the work being carried out by Petrofac.

The delay wiped millions of pounds off of the value of Ithaca Energy, with share price plummeting by nearly a third.

The delay itself costed around £6.5m, mainly in additional in management costs.