The company, which brought onstream theGreater Stella Area (GSA) project in the UK North Sea last month, faces near-term pressures that include bringing the Stella field into full production in line with expectations; executing development drilling on the Harriet field tie-in on budget and with reservoir performance in line with expectations; and, refinancing $910 million of bank and pre-payment facilities and senior notes.
Ithaca intends to develop the GSA as a production hub for further satellite field tiebacks. If these are not secured, the potential benefits of the hub would be diluted.
One anticipated near-term tieback is theVorlich field, which is not solely under the company’s control, nor has the field development plan been agreed to with the operator, which owns other infrastructure in the area, or the UK Oil and Gas Authority.
In addition, Ithaca’s directors believe that there are limited prospects for delivering a step change in the scale and operations of the company without the addition of significant capital, with limited prospects for alternative transactions given the present lack of potential acquirers of UK North Sea oil and gas companies.