Noble Energy has pocketed $38.5 million through the sale of sizeable stakes in a pair of North Sea oilfields.

London-listed Ithaca Energy has come in for the stakes in the Cook and MacCulloch producing fields from the US independent.

Ithaca has moved its holding in the Shell-operated Cook field from 28.46% to 41.35% through the purchase of a further 12.89% from Noble. Ithaca is the largest owner in the field which lies in Block 21/20a in the Central North Sea.

Ithaca has also taken a 14% stake in the MacCulloch field from Noble. The field, in Block 15/24b also in the Central North Sea, is currently operated by ConocoPhillips but operatorship is in the process of being shifted to Endeavour Energy.

The two acquisitions are expected to yield net production of 1100 barrels of oil equivalent per day to Ithaca in 2012 and increase the company’s proven and probable reserves base by 3.4 million boe.

The purchase price implies a per-barrel cost of $11.3 of 2P reserves.

The Cook field has been developed by a well subsea tie-back to the Shell-operated Anasuria floating production, storage & offloading vessel with oil exported via shuttle tankers and gas via a pipeline to shore.

The MacCulloch field produces from four subsea wells tied back to the North Sea Producer FPSO with oil and gas sent to shore by pipeline.