Ithaca going for growth in North Sea

Analysts Mirabaud Securities expect Ithaca Energy to veer towards higher risk exploration wells in the UK North Sea.

Offshore staff

LONDON --Analysts Mirabaud Securities expect Ithaca Energy to veer towards higher risk exploration wells in the UK North Sea.

Since 2006, the Canadian independent has focused on lower risk appraisal plays, a strategy that has yielded three discoveries. One of these, the small Jacky oilfield, will be developed shortly through the Beatrice field complex in the Moray Firth.

However, Mirabaud says Ithaca also has been working on a higher risk/reward exploration portfolio, and plans to drill up to six wells on newly identified prospects this year, targeting reserves of around 277 MMboe.

In the next few weeks it will start by drilling Polly or Manuel, two potential 100 MMbbl recoverable prospects close to Beatrice. Next up should be South Athena, followed later in the year by wells on two gas prospects, Morpheus and Carna, and another potential oil-bearing structure.

Mirabaud expects the company's production to grow from 1,800 b/d this year to around 18,000 boe/d by mid-2010, as two of its development projects come on stream. Most of this will come from Athena, a probable tieback to Talisman Energy's Claymore production platform.

01/08/2008

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