North Sea oil and gas operator Ithaca Energy Inc. announces the successful start-up of production from the Stella field.

North Sea oil and gas operator Ithaca Energy Inc. announced Friday the successful start-up of production from the Stella field.

Following the output start-up, oil export to the adjacent shuttle tanker has also commenced. The production ramp-up phase will begin when the on-going commissioning of the gas processing and compression facilities is complete, Ithaca Energy said in a company statement.

The Stella field comprises the Stella Andrew sandstone reservoir containing light oil and rich gas condensate and the Stella Ekofisk reservoir containing a volatile oil.

Discovered through well 30/6-2 by Shell in 1979, Stella encountered gas condensate throughout a 25 foot section of Paleocene Andrew sand. Oil was also observed in the underlying Ekofisk chalk reservoir.

Since the discovery well, seven subsequent reservoir penetrations having been made on Stella with various wells/sidetracks.

An appraisal well (30/6a-8) and a sidetrack (30/6a-8z) were drilled by Ithaca in 2010. The 30/6a-8 well targeted the Andrew reservoir in a down flank location to test the extent of the structural closure, as earlier appraisal wells had been located on the crest. The well encountered light oil.

The 30/6a-8z sidetrack was drilled to a mid-flank location and defined the extent of the oil rim and gas column.

Ithaca expects to more than double its production to between 20,000 and 25,000 barrels of oil equivalent per day with the start-up of the Stella field, located in the Central Graben area of the UK continental Shelf.

Average production for the company during 1H 2016 was 9,378 barrels of oil equivalent per day, 93 percent of which was oil.

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