Ithaca Energy gains stake in Maclure, Cook oil fields in the UK North Sea

Source: Ithaca Energy

Ithaca Energy Inc. (TSX:IAE)(AIM:IAE) has entered into an agreement to acquire a 28.46% non-operated interest in the Cook oil field and a 7.41% non-operated interest in the Maclure oil field from Hess (NYSE:HES) for a consideration of US$74.5 million and the transfer from Ithaca to Hess of a 10% interest in each of exploration Blocks 42/25b, 43/16a and 43/21c in the Southern North Sea.

Cook, operated by Shell, lies in Block 21/20a in the Central North Sea. Gross average production from the field for 2010 was 7,940 barrels of oil equivalent per day (boepd) of mainly oil.

Maclure, operated by BP, is located in Block 9/19 in the Northern North Sea. The field produces mainly oil; gross average production from the field for 2010 was 5,857 boepd.

Maclure production is temporarily suspended. Production is routed through the third party owned Gryphon FPSO, which broke some of its moorings in February 2011. The operator of the FPSO is taking measures to investigate and repair the mooring system.

The acquisition of Maclure is subject to pre-emption within 30 days of notification of the transaction by other parties in the Maclure field.

The Company has commissioned Sproule International Ltd to provide a Reserves Audit Opinion on Cook and Maclure. The opinion from Sproule is anticipated in approximately 40 days.

"This acquisition strengthens the Company's portfolio of producing oil assets and diversifies Ithaca's existing UK North Sea production base, whilst keeping decommissioning liabilities to a minimum,” said Iain McKendrick CEO. “Significant non-operated interests, particularly in the Cook field, are highly strategic for the Company. It permits the Company to focus on extracting value from its existing operated portfolio, whilst being underpinned by additional non-operated production and cash flow being generated though the acquisition.”

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