Ithaca's Stella exceeds expectations

Ithaca Energy has completed a flow test on the fourth development well on the UK North Sea Stella field, hitting 12,005boe/d.

The result takes the total field potential up to 45,000boe/d, exceeding the firm's 30,000boe/d annualised estimate for the field, even before the fifth and final production well is drilled. 

The Stella subsea production wells are being drilled by the Ensco 100 jackup drilling rig and suspended awaiting arrival of the FPF-1 (pictured) semisubmersible floating production facility from the Remontowa Shipyard in Poland, where it is being modified, to which they will be tied back to. A further two wells are planned on the Harrier field, both of which will also be tied back to the FPF-1. The FPF-1 was previously used by Hess on the North Sea Ivanhoe and Rob Roy fields.

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%. 

Well 30/6a-B2Z (B2) was drilled to 14,461ft total measured depth subsea with a 2396ft gross horizontal reservoir section completed in the Palaeocene Andrew sandstone reservoir. The well intersected high quality sands across a net reservoir interval of 1658ft, equating to 69% net pay.

As with the previous three Stella development wells, a clean-up flow test was performed on the B2 well in order to effectively remove the drilling fluids used to complete the well. As part of the testing program the well was flowed at various rates over approximately a 38-hour flowing period in order to obtain additional data and fluid samples from its location on the crest of the structure to assist with reservoir management planning for the field.  

A maximum flow test was completed during the period, with the well flowing at a rate of 12,005 boepd on a 48/64-inch choke.  This rate comprised 5901bo/d and 36.6Mcf of gas. Fluid samples show that the oil is approximately 47° API.

The B2 well is currently in the process of being suspended, with operations scheduled to be completed by the end of the month. The suspension configuration is such that the well can be brought on to production without the requirement for any further well intervention activity once the FPF-1 floating production facility is on location and hooked up.  

On completion of operations on the B2 well, the ENSCO 100 will be moved abotu 3km to the main drill centre to drill a fifth well, in the Stella Ekofisk reservoir that underlies the main Stella Andrew reservoir.  

The Ekofisk well is targeting light oil production in a chalk formation. The characteristics of the formation mean that initial production rates are likely to be lower than those displayed by the wells in the Andrew sandstone reservoir. Completion of the fifth well, which is expected to be in early 2015, will mark the end of the planned Stella development drilling campaign.

Following completion of the B2 well suspension operations, four Stella Andrew reservoir development wells will have been completed, with the combined maximum clean-up flow test results achieved by the wells being in excess of 45,000boe/d. 

Les Thomas, Chief Executive Officer, said: "We are very pleased to have delivered another successful flow test on this the fourth Stella field development well.  The combined results of the four completed wells represent a major step forward in underpinning and realising the full value of the Stella field development."


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