The only reason that I think we need to buy more production is that Stella is at least 16 to 18 months away and our present production could be leaning out by then. A good acquisition today with the help of hedging and our tax losses could pay for that acquisition in around 12 months (rapid pay back as Iain mentioned before) and then it gives us 6 months of production cash flow to help pay off Stella.

At this point it is anyones guess???

No offense but sadly the 'luck' of Ithaca in hedging its bet as perform roughly the same as my portfolio in 2012, bordering the negative side and with luck small positive side at the end of the year with a Santa rallye if there is one..nothing to support going out and buying a cake fullof candles that's for sure...( read Q 3 financials)
[The Corporation recorded a $12.0 million loss on financial instruments for the three months ended September 30, 2012 (Q3 2011 $0.4 million gain). The loss was predominantly due to a $13.6 million revaluation of oil swaps and put options as a result of the September 30, 2012 oil spot price of $111.03 compared to the much lower price at June 30, 2012 of $94.50 offset by a $0.9 million realized gain on oil swaps and $0.7 million gain on the revaluation of other instruments. This loss partially reversed a gain recognized in Q2 2012 of $19.3 million as a result of the lower oil price in Q2.]
I would further remind you that there was an small acquisition still to close in 2013, not a lot of noise about it but it's there....
[In October, the Company announced that it had entered into agreements with Noble Energy Capital Limited (a subsidiary of Noble Energy Inc., NYSE: NBL) to acquire two wholly owned UK subsidiary companies that will hold non-operated interests in UK North Sea producing fields; a 12.885% interest in the Cook field and a 14% interest in the MacCulloch field. The acquisition will result in the Company increasing its existing Cook field interest from 28.46% to 41.345%, furthering its position as the field's largest owner. Based on the independent reserves assessment performed by Sproule, effective as of 31 December 2011, remaining net proved and probable reserves associated with the additional 12.885% interest (as of that date) are 2.0 mmboe. The MacCulloch oil field, currently operated by ConocoPhillips, lies in Blocks 15/24b in the Central North Sea (transfer of field operatorship to Endeavour Energy UK Limited is pending completion of a previously announced transaction). The field is producing from four subsea wells tied back to the North Sea Producer FPSO, with processed oil and gas exported via pipelines to shore. Remaining net proved and probable reserves effective as of 31 December 2011 are estimated by Ithaca to be approximately 1.4 mmboe. An assessment of the field reserves will be performed by Sproule as part of the normal year end reserves evaluation exercise.
The total acquisition consideration is $38.5 million, to be funded from the Company’s existing cash resources.
Completion of the transactions is anticipated in early 2013 and is subject to normal regulatory and joint venture approvals, including reaching agreement in respect of decommissioning cost security.]
That said, granted we have in theory pocket full of money with a $430 Millions loan which to many it seems is to do what we want to with, granted we all agree a peice of it is ear marked to Stella......but I beg to suggest that there is more string attached to it. We are all grown ups here and I know that when I go for my top line Margin limit, I better have a good story for my bank manager before he'll release the funds.....IAE I venture to suggest , just like all other Juniors has the same requirement - in fact such was such a challenge in terms of disclosure it seems..they had to put the Loan contract out as a public document!
Mind you and as perfectly and allowed editing function....blanked out some of the terms under confidentiality or competive rule agreement.....but do hit and take a peak at the November 12, 2012 material doc. It ain't a blank check !
Granted they have the latitude to make a move and have the financial means to do it, with approvals no doubt - however given the Worldwide stupidities I ask you, is now the right time to gamble ?