Ithaca closing in on first oil from Stella in North Sea

Offshore staff

CALGARY, Canada – Production from the Greater Stella Area project in the UK central North Sea could start around the end of this month.

Operator Ithaca Energy says there has been significant progress since the FPF-1 floating production platform was moored on location and the dynamic risers and umbilical installed connecting the vessel to the subsea infrastructure.

Technip has completed subsea commissioning with all infield flowlines flushed and ready for start-up.

Trials of the single anchor loading system have also been completed for the fleet of shuttle tankers that will offtake oil from the FPF-1.

Offshore commissioning of the platform is currently focused on preparation of the topsides processing and utility systems for the introduction of hydrocarbons.

Currently the operations team is concluding required inspections and associated readiness activities for safe and efficient start-up of the wells.

Following installation of a connection point on the Norpipe system this summer, a 44-km (27-mi) spurline was laid between the FPF-1 and Norpipe.

When the associated pipeline export pumps have been installed on the platform and the final subsea connections made, offloading to tankers can be replaced by exports via Norpipe.

Last month Ithaca completed acquisition of 100% of license P1588 (block 30/1f) from ENGIE E&P UK, INEOS UK SNS and Maersk Oil North Sea.

The concession contains 10-20% of the Vorlich discovery, the remainder located in license P363 (block 30/1c). 

Before year-end Ithaca aims to conclude another transaction with ENGIE E&P that would give it a 75% operated interest in the nearby Austen discovery.


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