North Sea GSA start delayed until 2016

Offshore staff

CALGARY, CanadaIthaca Energy says first production from the Greater Stella Area (GSA) in the UK North Sea has been put back until spring 2016.

Petrofac has been modifying the semisubmersible platform FPF-1 at the Remontowa yard in Poland for use on the GSA production hub.

In recent months, the rate of progress has been insufficient to ensure sail-away of the vessel from the yard as planned during 2Q 2015.

Ithaca says more than three-quarters of the construction works have been finished and mechanical completion is now scheduled for this summer.

Commissioning is expected to get under way in parallel with completion of construction activities during mid-year, and will likely last around six months.

The FPF-1 and risers have been designed to enable year-round installation, so sail-away can occur at the earliest available opportunity. At the moment, 1Q 2016 seems the likeliest option.

Ithaca stresses that the quality of work at the yard remains high, and this will not be compromised to accelerate a sail-away schedule that could ultimately result in a costly and inefficient offshore commissioning and start-up phase.

The remainder of the GSA development is progressing well. The Stella field drilling campaign is virtually complete, with results of the clean-up flow test on the fifth and final well (Stella Ekofisk) anticipated in March.

Most of the subsea infrastructure is in place, with the remaining elements due to be installed this spring.


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