Ithaca Hits 'Major Milestone' with FPF for Greater Stella Project

North Sea-focused Ithaca Energy used its latest quarterly operational update to report that "a major milestone" with its floating production facility (FPF-1) for the Greater Stella Area development.

Ithaca said that oilfield services firm Petrofac had recently completed the dry dock-related marine system refurbishment and hull life extension works on the FPF-1 in the Remontowa shipyard in Gdansk, Poland, and that the vessel has now been successfully refloated. The firm said that this will now allow the main topsides processing plant construction and installation activities to begin. Equipment and materials for the topsides continue to arrive at the yard and work is progressing on construction of pre-assembled units and racks that will be installed on the vessel.

Ithaca added that an approximately 40-mile gas export pipeline for the project has now been fully installed and is ready to receive gas upon the start-up of production from the Greater Stella Area hub. Operations to install the infield flexible flowlines and static umbilicals have also begun.

Meanwhile, drilling operations are ongoing and progressing to plan on the Stella A2 development well.

Elsewhere in its third quarter operational update, Ithaca said that its net average export production for the quarter was approximately 12,000 barrels of oil equivalent per day (boepd). This was lower than independent estimates for the quarter of around 13,000 boepd.

Analysts at London-based Westhouse Securities commented in a research note:

"Although production numbers were affected by shutdowns on existing producing assets, GSA development remains the main value driver for Ithaca. We continue to look to the second well test results from Stella which are due by year end. We also note that the high-risk-high-return exploration well, Handcross, should be spud sometime before year end."

The Stella gas field is located on UK Continental Shelf block 30/6 in waters measuring 280 feet in the North Sea. Having laid dormant for 30 years, the field was acquired by Ithaca in 2008.

A former engineer, Jon is an award-winning editor who has covered the technology, engineering and energy sectors since the mid-1990s. Email Jon at


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