Ithaca said the initial campaign involves the drilling and completion of four production wells on the Stella field prior to its start-up. Three horizontal wells will be drilled into the oil rim of the field, along with one highly-deviated gas-condensate well on the crest of the structure.
Each well is expected to take between 80 and 90 days to drill and complete. Advanced Drilling Technology International is managing the drilling and completion operations under "turnkey" contract arrangements.
Proved (1P) reserves in the Stella field have been estimated at 11.53 million barrels of oil equivalent.
Commenting on the news, analysts at London-based investment bank Westhouse Securities said that the start of development drilling on Stella "brings Ithaca one step closer to first hydrocarbons in mid-2014", noting that the Greater Stella Area is one of the main production growth drivers for the company in 2014 and 2015.
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