Athena well below expectations

Ithaca Energy has suspended its latest appraisal well on the Athena discovery in the UK North Sea after failing to encounter commercial hydrocarbons in the primary horizon.

Offshore staff

CALGARY, Canada --Ithaca Energy has suspended its latest appraisal well on the Athena discovery in the UK North Sea after failing to encounter commercial hydrocarbons in the primary horizon.

Well 14/18b-17 was evaluating a potential southern extension to Athena's oil pool. It penetrated the Lower Cretaceous Leek sands at a level 413 ft (126 m) above Athena's oil/water contact. However, oil found in the Leek formation was of a lower quality.

Ithaca plans further evaluation of this well and a possible sidetrack for use in the Athena development scheme – this is currently under review by the UK Department of Business, Environment and Regulatory Reform (BERR). The next appraisal well will likely target the Leek sands north of the 14/18-7 discovery well.

The company is also negotiating for a jackup rig to tie back and complete the initial well on its Jacky field development in block 12/26c. Drilling is expected to take around 20 days, and should get under way in November, once the platform - currently under construction by HSM in The Netherlands - has been installed on the field.

04/23/2008

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