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Delek Group’s Ithaca Energy Gets Green Light to Drill for Oil in North Sea

The Rosebank development on the UK Continental Shelf is opposed by environmentalists.

Ithaca Energy

Ithaca Energy’s Alba Oil Field (company pic)

Israel’s Ithaca Energy, a subsidiary of Yitzhak Tshuva’s Delek Group,  together with Norway’s Equinor have taken the final investment decision to progress Phase 1 of the Rosebank development on the UK Continental Shelf, together investing $3.8 billion in the development. The move came after the North Sea Transition Authority (“NSTA”) granted consent for the development of the field on 27 September 2023. Ithaca Energy owns a 20% working interest in Rosebank.

The BBC called the Rosebank oil and gas field the UK’s “largest untapped oil field.” And this is why the decision to open it up is controversial. Environmentalists say it will only add to the growing problem of climate change.

According to the BBC, last month 50 British MPs and peers from all major parties raised concerns Rosebank could produce 200 million tons of carbon dioxide and urged the government not to allow the project to go forward.

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Green Party MP Caroline Lucas called the decision “morally obscene.”

An environmental activist told Britain’s Sky News, “We are teetering on the edge of surpassing 1.5C of warming – a limit agreed on by world leaders and essential to ensuring a habitable planet. Yet the government allows companies like Equinor to ‘blow through’ pollution targets for the sake of profit.”

But British Energy Security Secretary Claire Coutinho countered saying, “we will need oil and gas as part of that mix on the path to net zero and so it makes sense to use our own supplies. We will continue to back the UK’s oil and gas industry to underpin our energy security, grow our economy and help us deliver the transition to cheaper, cleaner energy.”

The Rosebank field is located around 130 kilometers north-west of Shetland. Recoverable resources are estimated at around 300 million barrels of oil from phase 1 and 2, with Phase 1 targeting an estimated 245 million barrels of oil. The field will be developed with subsea wells tied back to a redeployed Floating Production Storage and Offloading vessel (“FPSO”), with first production expected in 2026-2027. The Rosebank field will produce in excess of 21 MMSCF of natural gas every day, the equivalent to the daily use of Aberdeen City.

The Rosebank development has been optimized to reduce carbon emissions, in line with the North Sea Transition Deal, with the FPSO designed to be electrification-ready. Ithaca Energy and Equinor continue to collaborate with government and industry stakeholders to pursue a regional solution for power from shore to Rosebank and nearby fields with the objective of minimizing carbon emissions from production.

Gilad Myerson, Executive Chairman, Ithaca Energy, said, “We are delighted to announce the decision to move forward with the Rosebank development alongside Equinor. Rosebank stands as the largest undeveloped field in the UK, and with the receipt of development consent from the NSTA, we are now poised to embark on a journey that will not only provide critically important domestic energy but also ignite substantial economic impact. The Rosebank project will create thousands of jobs and contribute significantly to securing the UK’s energy needs for many years to come.”

Founded in 2004, Ithaca Energy is an independent oil and gas operator in the North Sea. Ithaca Energy is a wholly-owned subsidiary of the Tel Aviv stock exchange listed Delek Group Limited.

Yitzhak Tshuva is an Israeli entrepreneur and businessman with global business operations. He is responsible for the discovery, beginning in 2000, of major natural gas reserves offshore Israel that enabled the country to become energy independent and to emerge as an international energy player.

In 1998, Yitzhak Tshuva acquired control of Delek Group, leading the company in a substantial expansion of its operations and transforming the company into a diversified global corporation with interests in upstream and downstream energy, insurance and financial services and automotive, among others. Since 2000 Delek Group has discovered substantial offshore natural gas reserves in Israel and Cyprus, including the Leviathan field, the world’s largest gas reserve discovered in deep water in the last decade.



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