(Alliance News) - Ithaca Energy PLC on Wednesday said its profit has fallen year-to-date, amid weaker oil prices, though it is looking to the future with confidence after achieving a "milestone" at the Rosebank asset in the North Sea.

Ithaca said net income in the nine months to September was 83% lower at USD238.5 million from USD1.39 billion. Profit in 2022 was boosted by a one-off gain of roughly USD1.32 billion, stemming from the acquisitions of Marubeni and Siccar Point Energy.

Adjusted net income was 15% lower at USD332.1 million from USD391.2 million.

Year-to-date oil prices totalled USD86 a barrel before hedging and USD84 after hedging. A year earlier, they totalled USD104 a barrel and USD91, respectively. Oil prices surged in 2022 in the wake of Russia's invasion of Ukraine. Amid hostilities in Gaza, the threat of a wider conflict in the Middle East threatened to send Crude prices to similar highs, though Brent has struggled to top the USD83 mark for long recently.

Ithaca said it has kept a lid on costs. It lowered its operating cost guidance range to USD525 million to USD575 million, from USD560 million to USD610 million, due to "strict cost control, improved FX rates and a reduction in planned activity".

In September, Ithaca announced that, alongside operator Equinor UK Ltd, it will invest USD3.8 billion in the development of the Rosebank asset on the UK continental shelf.

The oil field was approved by the UK government's regulator, the North Sea Transition Authority. The UK government expects billions of pounds to be added into the economy from the project, which has been lambasted by environmentalist groups.

Executive Chair Gilan Myerson said: "The decision to progress with Phase I of the Rosebank development alongside Equinor represents a significant milestone for Ithaca as we continue to deliver against our buy, build and boost strategy. We continue to constructively engage with UK government to help shape future energy policy to create a supportive environment for further investment in the UK North Sea and welcome the recent announcement on annual North Sea licensing rounds."

Elsewhere, Ithaca is engaging with possible farm-in partners for the Cambo and Fotla assets to progress towards final investment decisions. Cambo is located around 80 miles west of the Shetland Islands, and about 20 miles south of Rosebank. Fotla is around 10 kilometres from Ithaca's Alba field in the UK Central North Sea.

Ithaca's year-to-date production has totalled 71,048 barrels of oil equivalent per day, up from 68,246.

It maintained its annual output guidance range at 68,000-74,000 boe/d.

Shares in the company traded 0.5% higher at 154.74 pence each in London on Wednesday morning.

By Eric Cunha, Alliance News news editor

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