Ithaca Energy (LON: ITH) has hinted at contracts on the horizon for the Cambo oilfield, with “line of sight” to sanctioning the project next year.
Chairman Gilad Myerson said that next month he’ll be “flying abroad to Asia to lock-in slots” on upcoming contracts for the West of Shetland oilfield.
Among the closely-watched deals is a potential EPC contact for the Cambo FPSO, which analysts like Rystad Energy have speculated could still be signed this year.
“There’s a lot of progress behind the scenes. We won’t be able to announce anything of course until the project is fully sanctioned and there’s full board approval. But that should happen soon.
“All the supply chain work is happening behind the scenes in order to support an accelerated timeline for these developments,” Myerson added.
Ithaca’s operated Cambo field, and the nearby Rosebank project which it is partnered in, are targeting a key final investment decision in 2023.
Potential changes to the UK government windfall tax – whether it might be altered to not support new projects – is seen as the “biggest question mark” over reaching FID.
Those projects, paired with Marigold in the Central North Sea and the Captain enhanced oil recovery (EOR) phase 2 scheme, are the main pieces on Ithaca’s near-term pipeline.
But other West of Shetland schemes like Tornado, a potential 80 million-barrel scheme which could be tied back to Cambo, are in the longer-term view.
“We are looking already at Tornado, which is very attractive in the West of Shetland but that would be after Rosebank and Cambo,” he said.
West of Shetland remains a tough nut to crack with many projects taking increasingly long timelines to get from discovery to first oil; Cambo itself was discovered in 2002, Rosebank in 2004.
Tackling the west of Shetland
But Myerson is confident about the experience of the Ithaca team and its chances of success.
“We are building a top notch team that has significant experience in the central North Sea, the northern North Sea, as well as West of Shetland.
“We have extensive experience with the FPSOs – the likes of Catcher, Dumbarton, Global Producer, Quad 204. We have installation experience, greenfield and brownfield, whether it’s Golden Eagle, or Clair Ridge, or the Jasmine development.
“At the minute we’re doing extensive drilling and tieback work, for instance, with Abigail that just came online recently, Vorlich coming online before, and the Captain EOR fabrications brownfield fabrications and drilling.
“So while the company is in fast-growth mode, the individuals and teams bring a huge amount of experience.
“On top of that, what’s interesting is you have professionals coming together from different companies. So we have people bringing experience from BP and Shell, Maersk Oil and ConocoPhillips, Repsol Sinopec, as well as apply to individuals from Petrofac and the likes.
“Putting them together creates a melting pot of. Of talent and allows us to to really bring the best of the best to project.”