Ithaca Installs Jacky Platform at Beatrice, March Slated for Start-Up

Ithaca has announced the successful and safe installation of the Jacky platform and associated pipelines in the Inner Moray Firth area of the United Kingdom.

Installation of the Jacky platform and pipelines is a major step in the process of bringing the field on stream. The remaining activities will be the completion and tie-in of the already drilled Jacky production well and minor modifications to the nearby Beatrice Field facility to accommodate Jacky production. The Jackup drilling rig 'Ensco 92' is scheduled to enter the field in mid February or early March to conduct the well work (schedule dependent on previous well timing).

The Jacky field is likely to come on stream in mid March once tie-in activities and modification to the Beatrice field have been completed. It is expected to produce at an initial rate of approximately 7,500 bopd, delivering significant cash flow for the field owners.

The installation of the Jacky platform was delayed by adverse weather conditions that have impacted a number of North Sea projects over the last 2 months. Despite these conditions, Ithaca and its co-venturers have been able to progress work on the project and ensure there is no impact on the schedule for the pipelay and well completion activities by securing, at short notice, the services of the 'Hermod' Heavy Lift Vessel, which had been undergoing maintenance in Rotterdam. However, this activity, combined with a significant shift in the US dollar / UK pound / Euro exchange rates has meant that project costs are likely to be between 20% and 24% above the original estimate of 59.7 million pounds sterling.

As part of the Jacky development project, Ithaca is also re-instating production from the closed in Beatrice 'Bravo' platform. The Bravo facility was producing around 800 bopd when it was shut in by the previous field owners in July 2007.

The Jacky Field is owned by Ithaca (67.3% Operator), Dyas (22.7%) and North Sea Energy (10%) and is being developed as a 'normally unmanned' facility with a single well tied back to the nearby Beatrice Field facilities.

Iain McKendrick, CEO of Ithaca said, "This major milestone in the development of the Jacky field removes much of the uncertainty over the project schedule and cost. We now have the development facilities installed and are looking forward to the well completion activity and final tie-in work at Beatrice.

The Jacky field is significant to Ithaca as it will add substantial cash flow over and above our already producing Beatrice field. The professionalism and proactivity of the project team, supported by our Joint Venture Partners, in securing the services of the Hermod are a tribute to the skill of our technical team and to the ethos of small independent oil companies, which remain a driving force in the North Sea even in today's environment."


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