Ithaca Energy contracts BW Offshore for FPSO, Transocean's Sedco 704 semisub for Athena development in the UK North Sea

Source: Ithaca Energy

Ithaca Energy (LON:IAE) (TSX:IAE) has contracted both a floating production facility and a semisubmersible drilling rig for the Athena development in the UK North Sea.

The Athena field will be developed using a floating production, storage and offloading (FPSO) vessel, and a contract has been signed with BW Offshore Limited to provide the BW Carmen (to be renamed BW Athena). The contract will have a minimum term of 3 years (extendable for up to 8 years) and includes modifying the vessel and deploying it to a fixed mooring at the Athena field. The vessel will be mobilized to the Athena field at the end of Q3 2011. Offloading of produced oil will be by tandem moored shuttle tankers.

Previously the field has been appraised, and three of the suspended appraisal wells will be completed for production (using downhole pumps) along with one new production well and one new water injector.

A letter of award has been signed with Applied Drilling Technology International (ADTI), a subsidiary of Transocean, for provision of drilling management services and for the supply of the Sedco 704 semisubmersible drilling rig. The rig will be available from the end of 2010, and the drilling and completion program is expected to last approximately 180 days.

Both the FPSO contract and drilling letter of award are subject to Field Development Plan approval, which is expected within approximately 3 weeks.

Contracts for the subsea equipment, including moorings, flowlines, controls, power cables, pumps and meters, will be placed over the coming weeks.

"We are committed to a robust development of the field and confident that our chosen suppliers will deliver the quality of service that will ensure timely and effective execution of the Athena project plan," said John Woods, chief developments officer of Ithaca. "Our coventurers have been very supportive in getting these contracts agreed to and awarded, at the same time as the Field Development Plan is in the final stages of approval."

The Athena Field is situated in Block 14/18b in the Outer Moray Firth area of the UK Continental Shelf. Ithaca operates the field with a 22.5% interest. The other co-venturers in the field are Dyas UK Ltd (47.5%), EWE Aktiengesellschaft AG (20%) and Zeus Petroleum Limited (10%).

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