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Ithaca

Oil & Gas

Israelis move into the UK North Sea

Israel’s Delek Group is to become the biggest shareholder in UK North Sea oil and gas firm Ithaca Energy following a £43million investment announced yesterday. The deal underlines investors still see value in British waters, despite a slump in oil prices and high operating costs in one of the world's most mature oil and gas basins. Tel Aviv-listed Delek’s investment arm is taking a near-20% stake in Ithaca, whose current activity is focused on the construction of a new production hub in the Greater Stella area of the central North Sea.

Oil & Gas

Canadian lawsuit accuses Ithaca of misleading shareholders

Ithaca Energy has misled shareholders by hiding “material facts” related to its Greater Stella Area (GSA) development, the Canadian lawyer at the heart of a lawsuit against the North Sea oil company said last night. Toronto-based Andrew Morganti said he was pursuing a class action on behalf of investors who bought Ithaca shares between August 12, 2014 and February 25, 2015. He was speaking after Ithaca, which is Canadian owned but has its headquarters in Aberdeen, revealed it had received a statement of claim “from a law firm that advertises itself as undertaking investor lawsuits”.

Oil & Gas

North Sea firm Ithaca cuts operating costs by 30%

Ithaca Energy said yesterday its operating costs were down by about 30% from a year ago as the global oil and gas industry adjusts to lower crude prices. First quarter results from UK North Sea-focused Ithaca showed it has reduced the costs associated with each barrel of oil it produces to less than $35. The Aberdeen and Calgary firm also highlighted the impact of tax changes announced by Chancellor George Osborne in the March Budget.

Markets

Ithaca says new finance package gives it more “headroom” for getting Greater Stella on stream

Ithaca Energy expects a new funding package to give it greater financial flexibility in the run-up to production starting from the Greater Stella Area (GSA). “Extended and simplified” bank debt financing facilities worth a total of £422.5million provide “significant funding headroom” in advance of fist hydrocarbons from GSA in the second quarter of next year, the Aberdeen and Calgary-based oil and gas firm said yesterday. The new package adds to an existing £195million bond, giving the company access to total debt funding of around £617.5million.

Oil & Gas

Ithaca completes fifth and final well test for Greater Stella

North Sea oil and gas company Ithaca Energy said yesterday it had completed a successful final development well test on the Stella field. The five wells drilled achieved a combined maximum flow test rate of more than 53,000 barrels of oil equivalent (boe) per day. Aberdeen and Calgary-based Ithaca said this “significantly de-risks” a project – the Greater Stella Area (GSA) – which is expected to produce about 30,000boe per day, including 16,000 for its own 54.66% stake.

Markets

Ithaca shares rally on its oil price hedging news

North Sea firm Ithaca Energy saw its shares jump as much as 14% yesterday after it said it had increased its oil hedging to mitigate against lower prices. But the company also revealed the sharp drop in crude prices late last year wiped £117million off its 2014 balance sheet, leaving it with pre-tax losses of £225million. Ithaca, whose stock plummeted more than 27% in February after it announced start-up from its Greater Stella Area (GSA) project would be severely delayed, said yesterday it had 4,000 barrels of oil per day hedged at an average price of $69 from July 2016 to June 2017. The London and Toronto-listed company also reported “solid” underlying cashflow generation and a 22% increase in proved and probable reserves to 70million barrels of oil equivalent (boe).

Markets

Ithaca shares plummet on news of Greater Stella delay

More than £85million was wiped off the value of North Sea oil firm Ithaca Energy yesterday after it said start-up from its Greater Stella Area (GSA) project would be severely delayed. Investors were also panicking after the Aberdeen-based company revealed its latest GSA problems would cost it millions of pounds in extra costs. Ithaca, whose share price plummeted more than 27%, does not now expect to benefit from any GSA output until the second quarter of next year, having previously anticipated a boost during 2015. The change of plan was prompted by modifications to a floating production platform – FPF-1 – in Gdansk, Poland, taking longer than expected.

Markets

Costs to drop for Ithaca as well set for start

North Sea oil and gas company Ithaca Energy expects to spend nearly 60% less than last year as it moves towards production start-up from its Greater Stella Area (GSA) development during 2015. The Aberdeen-based firm expects Greater Stella, which is in the heart of the Central Graben area of the central UK North Sea, to come on-stream in the third quarter of this year. Ithaca said its reduced spending – it is budgeting for just over £99million this year, which it said was nearly 60% less than last year – reflected the advanced status of its GSA investment programme and lower output enhancement costs.