Ithaca Energy has announced that first production from its Greater Stella Area (GSA) project in the UK central North Sea is expected in September.

Petrofac is currently carrying out the floating production semisubmersible FPF-1 modifications programme in the Remontowa shipyard, Poland.

FPF-1 is undergoing final commissioning operations and expected to leave the shipyard in next month.

Upon completion of modifications, the vessel will be set for production start-up from the Stella field. Last year, a drilling programme for five-well development and subsea infrastructure installation was completed for the field.

"Our solid foundation will enable execution of a balanced and flexible future investment programme that can be tailored for the commodity price environment."

Work is progressing for handover of various processing, utilities and accommodation systems on FPF-1 from the modifications to operations teams.

It is reported that deepwater trials are planned immediately before starting the tow to the field.

In this process, the vessel will be shifted to a location off the coast of Gdansk to perform the marine system commissioning trials required.

Once the vessel has been towed, it will be moored on location using 12 pre-installed anchor chains.

Installation of dynamic risers and umbilicals connecting the subsea infrastructure to the vessel will take place and commissioning of the various processing and utility systems will be concluded.

Ithaca Energy CEO Les Thomas said: "Ithaca has maintained the strong momentum generated in 2015 throughout the first quarter, with Stella progressing on track, further downward pressure on operating costs and reaffirmation of our financial strength.

"We have a solid foundation to take us forward beyond the start-up of Stella, enabling execution of a balanced and flexible future investment programme that can be tailored for the commodity price environment, while meeting our priority of reducing debt."