Ithaca Energy interim CEO Iain Lewis remains convinced that the government would approve the Cambo oilfield development, just as it has Rosebank.
“We firmly believe for the UK this project should be developed. Of course it’s disappointing there’s opposition [to Cambo] from some political quarters. Rosebank is a good example of a field with controversy around it, for no good reason from an emissions perspective or an economic perspective, but that ultimately political and regulatory processes will work through to get the right answer,” Lewis said.
The interim CEO was speaking at Pareto’s annual E&P conference in London. Ithaca has a 100% stake in Cambo currently.
Lewis made it clear that, for Ithaca, it would not be the right move to take a final investment decision (FID) on Cambo at 100% ownership. Cambo and Rosebank are the two largest undeveloped fields in the UK, he said.
Ithaca has a 20% stake in Rosebank, which will provide 15,000 barrels per day net once it has started up by early 2027.
“It’s positive on many fronts for the UK but it’s also a great re-use of assets,” he said. The Knarr FPSO was previously on the Knarr field. “A disappointing subsurface meant it was completed far earlier than expected. This has unlocked Rosebank, it’s enabled a low-cost redevelopment to access the barrels.”
The vessel is currently in Dubai dry dock, Lewis said. The FPSO is also “electrification ready” although the CEO acknowledged challenges in delivering power West of Shetland.
Ithaca has made commitments around paying dividends, expecting to pay out $400 million for 2023, and is also cutting debt.
“We are capable and available to do additional deals and transactions. The question right now is where we deploy capital”, he said.
This year, Ithaca will begin a second phase of enhanced oil recovery (EOR) at the Captain field. While the company is looking at additional deals, “we don’t have to do a deal to grow. Our production will grow through the developments we have right now, at Captain EOR 2 and Rosebank. With that medium term growth plan, we will do the right deal at the right time.”