Ithaca Energy Plc (LON:IAE, CVE:IAE) has repeated its guidance that the Stella field start-up will come next month, as it says that hook-up and commissioning of floating production facilities are progressing to plan.
The North Sea firm told investors, in its third quarter update, that production was ahead of forecasts over the first nine months of 2016, averaging 9,550 barrels oil equivalent per day rather than 9,000 boepd.
Ithaca saw an average realised oil price of US$56 per boe, thanks to hedging arrangements, and it anticipates that it had average operating costs of around US$25 per barrel – rising oil volumes following Stella’s start-up is expected to see average costs drop to US$20 per barrel.
That said, production is expected to reduce during the fourth quarter as a result of planned maintenance on pipeline systems connected to some of Ithaca’s assets.
Ithaca also noted that it had continued to deleverage, and had US$598mln of net debt at the end of September. In all, the group has total available debt facilities of US$730mln so has US$130mln of funding headroom to see it through to first hydrocarbons from the Stella field.
The debt arrangements comprise US$300mln of unsecured senior notes, and US$430mln of bank facilities.
Story by ProactiveInvestors