First oil has been achieved at the Stella floating production project in the UK North Sea.
The Greater Stella Development had been planned to come onstream, using the upgraded FPF-1 semisubmersible production unit in 2014, but has faced repeated setbacks.
Operator Ithaca Energy, a UK-baed independent, said this morning that production had now started, as had oil export to an adjacent shuttle tanker. Production ramp-up will start when on-going commissioning of gas processing and compression facilities is complete.
The 45 MMboe development comprises the Stella and Harrier fields, which are being developed as subsea wells tied back to the FPF-1. In total, seven wells are planned, five on Stella and two on Harrier.
Drilling results on the field last year have added to the field's prospects, taking total field potential up to 45,000 boe/d, exceeding the firm's previous 30,000 boe/d annualized estimate for the field.
Stella is in Blocks 29/10a and 30/6a under license P.011. Ithaca's partners are Dyas (25.34% interest) and Petrofac (20%), with Ithaca holding the remaining 54.66%.
The FPF-1 was previously used by Hess on the North Sea Ivanhoe and Rob Roy fields and was modified for use on Stella at the Remontowa yard in Gdansk, Poland, under a contract with Petrofac.
Image: The FPF-1. Photo from Ithaca.