Ithaca: Problems with Energy Enhancer jackup stall drilling at Jacky in the UK North Sea

Source: Ithaca Energy

Ithaca Energy Inc. (TSX:IAE)(AIM:IAE) has temporarily suspended drilling of the J03 well on Jacky due to mechanical issues on the Energy Enhancer jackup drilling rig. Additionally, the Beatrice Alpha workover well, A28, is now anticipated to return to stable production in early April.

The drilling unit has been positioned over the Jacky platform to drill well 12/21c-J03. Mechanical issues relating to cementing of the initial casing section and the drilling mud handling system occurred onboard the Energy Enhancer jackup during the drilling of the top hole section of the well.

Production from the existing Jacky well J01 (and Beatrice Bravo), was temporarily suspended, as is normal practice during the early phase of drilling, but given additional issues with the rig, production was suspended for an extended period totaling 22 days. Production from J01 has been reinstated today while certain rig equipment is repaired. The rig has been on zero day rate and will remain so until the repair is complete.

Drilling is scheduled to recommence in approximately 7 days, after which operations are approximately scheduled to last a further 60 days.

In addition, at Beatrice Alpha, production start up from work over well A28 has been delayed to allow the completion to be re-run following failure of a downhole packer. The A28 well is now expected to commence flowing and stabilise in early April.

The suspension of production at Jacky and the later commencement of A28 reinstatement are together anticipated to reduce forecast Ithaca net production for Q1 2011 by approximately 20%. However, management estimate 2011 net average production for the Company is still expected to be between 5,500 and 6,000 barrels of oil equivalent per day, subject to successful well interventions at Beatrice, a successful Jacky J03 well and first oil from the Athena field in Q4 2011.

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