Ithaca Energy, of Aberdeen, has decided to forge ahead with a £400 million project to boost output from a UK North Sea oilfield. Phase two of the enhanced oil recovery (EOR) programme on the Captain field aims to recover around 40 million barrels of oil equivalent. Bosses at Ithaca said investing in the project demonstrated the firm’s commitment to the UK North Sea, where investment decisions on new projects have been few and far between amid the latest downcycle. EOR involves adding polymers to water to make it thicker and – once introduced to the reservoir — more effective at sweeping oil towards production wells. Former Captain field operator Chevron sanctioned phase one in 2017, claiming the technology would boost recovery by 5-7%. The US major — which sold its UK North Sea business, including its 85% stake in Captain, to Ithaca in 2019 — drilled six new polymer injection wells and upgraded the platform. Ithaca and project partner Dana Petroleum, which holds the remaining 15% of the licence, now hope to build on Chevron’s success, having received consent for phase two from the Oil and Gas Authority. The duo had hoped to make a final investment decision in the first half of last year, but the ...read more...