- North Sea oil company Ithaca Energy [LON:IAE] is up 14% to 144.25p after announcing the completion of a highly successful flow test on the first development well drilled on the Stella field and provides a progress update on the Greater Stella Area development activities.


·    The first Stella field development well, "A1", flowed at a maximum rate of 10,835 barrels of oil equivalent per day (boepd) on a 7/8-inch choke, with the full production potential of the well limited by the capacity of the well test equipment on the drilling rig.

·    Fluid samples have confirmed the high oil content of the hydrocarbons that will be produced from the well.  The maximum rate of 10,835 boepd corresponds to 6,499 barrels of oil per day (bopd) and 26 million standard cubic feet per day (MMscf/d) of "liquids rich" gas.

·    The well intersected a high quality net reservoir interval of 1312 feet, with reservoir properties in line with previous wells drilled on the field.  The oil is of high quality, approximately 42° API.

·    The facilities that will be used on the "FPF-1" floating production facility to separate and export oil and gas produced from the field will increase the overall oil relative to gas production rate associated with the A1 well, by processing more efficiently than the simple separation facilities available for the purposes of the well test.

·    Following suspension of the A1 well, the ENSCO 100 will move on to drilling of the second Stella development well from the same drilling centre location.

·    Excellent progress continues to be made by Technip UK Limited with execution of the 2013 subsea infrastructure installation works.  The most weather sensitive activities in this year's work programme have now been completed.

·    Completion of the dry dock works being undertaken by Petrofac Facilities Management Limited on the FPF-1 are progressing well and the focus of fabrication activities is moving on to the initial works required to commence installation of the new processing plant on the vessel.

·    The capital expenditure and start-up target schedule for the GSA hub remain unchanged from that previously issued.  

Iain McKendrick, Chief Executive Officer, commented: "This well and the highly successful test are outstanding results for the Company.  This is an enormous leap forward in de-risking of the Greater Stella Area development and the creation of a major new production hub in the UK Central North Sea.  The well has accessed the reserves it was designed to recover and the test confirms the presence and extremely high quality and deliverability of the reservoir sands.  When these results are combined with progress that has been made on both the successful execution of the 2013 subsea installation works and the FPF-1 modifications programme, the development can be seen to be confidently driving forward at pace."

PetroNeft Resources [LON:PTR] gained 7.5% to 3.28 said its oil production is steady at 2,500 bopd, that it is realising strong oil prices, and that it is beginning to see positive impact of pressure maintenance at Arbuzovskoye.

PetroNeft Resources had started to see some positive impact in the production well nearest to the injection well, similar to the response seen earlier at Lineynoye. This should expand to other nearby production wells in the coming months.

Production at Lineynoye remained very stable with little decline evident.

Discussions continued on both the re-financing and planned farmout of Licence 61 with particularly good progress on concluding a re-financing of the existing Macquarie Bank facility. The company was encouraged by progress in recent weeks.

It continued to make the principal repayments of $650,000 a month to Macquarie Bank from operational cash flows. The current balance on this facility, net of cash held by Macquarie in the Debt Service Reserve Account, was $13.6 million.

Subject to the successful completion of re-financing of the bank debt, or a farmout, plans were in place for re-commencement of drilling operations later this year.

This plan included a delineation well at West Lineynoye, commencement of drilling additional production wells at Arbuzovskoye and, in 2014, delineation wells at Tungolskoye and Sibkrayevskoye where significant upside potential and near-term developments are possible.

Mediterranean Oil & Gas [LON:MOG] said its wholly owned subsidiary Medoilgas Italia was informed by the operator ENI that on the morning of Aug. 30 production from the short string of well Guendalian-3 (Gue-3) was shut down due to low pressure at the manifold – leading to a 7.4% decline in the shares to 6.37p.

An operations team was on site and production recovery operations were started immediately to assess the issue.

Diagnostic temperature and pressure profiles were collected which indicate a reduction in the performance and permeability of the well completion.

At Sept. 10, the production from the short string of Gue-3 remains shut-in. The short string accounted for approximately 49% of the production at Guendalina prior to the shut-in.

Post shut-in, the Guendalina Field is producing approximately 34,000 scm per day (~216 boe per day) net MOG (MOG: 20%, ENI: 80% working interest). Remedial operations are planned and a further update will be provided to the market in due course.

At 3:34pm:

[LON:IAE] share price was +17.88p at 144.38p

[LON:MOG] share price was -0.25p at 6.63p

[LON:PTR] share price was +0.15p at 3.2p

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