Ithaca to develop two UK North Sea fields

By OGJ editors

Ithaca Energy Inc., London, has received UK government approval to develop Stella and Harrier natural gas and condensate fields with a floating production system allowing development of other fields in the Greater Stella area of the central UK North Sea.

Ithaca Energy (UK) Ltd., the operator, has signed a contract for the Ensco 100 heavy-duty jack-up rig for drilling of horizontal wells to be tied back to the Petrofac FPF-1 floating production unit.

The vessel will serve as a hub able to support possible development of nearby Hurricane and Helios fields.

Last October, Ithaca said it expects production to begin in second-half 2013 at an average annual rate of 30,000 boe/d of hydrocarbons. Production management will favor oil and condensate in the early years.

After processing, hydrocarbons will flow into existing pipelines.

The FPF-1, to be located near Stella field, is under modification. It will have capacities to process 38,000 b/d of oil and 85 MMscfd of gas.

Ithaca plans to drill five wells in Stella field and two in Harrier, all completed subsea. First production will come from four Stella wells, three completed in Paleocene Andrew sandstone and one in underlying Ekofisk chalk. Production from these wells will fill the FPF-1’s gas-processing capacity.

The first well in Harrier field, 10 km south of Stella, will be drilled into the Ekofisk reservoir after drilling of the first four Stella wells.

When processing capacity becomes available, the fifth Stella well will be drilled into the Andrew reservoir, and the first Harrier well will be tied in. Drilling of the second Harrier well will follow, targeting Upper Cretaceous Tor chalk.

Interests in Stella and Harrier fields, both on Block 30/6a, are Ithaca 54.66%, Dyas 25.34%, and Petrofac 20%.

Ithaca says an independent assessment has put proved and probable reserve at 16.26 million boe at Stella, 13.15 million boe at Harrier, and 2.68 million boe at Hurricane.

In 2010, Ithaca farmed out to Maersk Oil North Sea UK Ltd. interests in a high-pressure, high-temperature gas-condensate play stratigraphically below the Greater Stella zones Ithaca has received approval to develop (OGJ Online, Feb. 16, 2010).

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