Very often, we hear about North American assets being the safe haven place for investors looking to avoid geopolitical uncertainty in the Middle East or even militant activity in Africa. However, the North Sea should also be considered when looking for diversification, and that has me interested in Ithaca Energy (TSX: IAE), a Canadian company with operations in the UK and Norway.
The third quarter saw Ithaca announce record quarterly cash flow from operations and record quarterly earnings. One negative for the company was lower 2013 production outlook. However, management already specifically forewarned during its October operations update on the heels of longer than expected shutdown of the Causeway Area field.
It may not be unreasonable to think OMV, which acquired assets from Statoil (NYSE:EQNR) in the North Sea in August, could also find Ithaca an undervalued asset owner. Statoil itself could find some of Ithaca's assets compelling, especially since the company has a renewed vigor for finding oil off Norway's continental shelf. EnQuest (LSE:ENQ), majority holder of the enormous Kraken project in the East Shetland basin which could have a 25 year life beginning production in 2016, is a major partner of Ithaca in both the Dons and Broom North Sea projects so investors really should focus on that name as well.