Stella boost for Ithaca’s shares

SHARES in Ithaca surged 14 per cent yesterday after the North Sea driller unveiled better-than-expected test results from its first well in the Stella field.

Chief executive Iain McKendrick said: “This is an enormous leap forward in de-risking of the Greater Stella Area (GSA) development and the creation of a major production hub in the UK Central North Sea.”

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Jamal Orazbayeva, an analyst at Westhouse, added: “The guidance was that all four wells combined will be able to deliver the initial production rate of 16,000 barrels of oil equivalent per day (BOEPD) when the GSA is onstream in mid-2014. The test rate of over 10,500 BOEPD from the first well is obviously a more-than-encouraging step and the fact the rate is restricted by rig equipment provides even more confidence in deliverability.”

Ithaca shares rose 18.25p to 144.75p.