DIRECTORS of Ithaca Energy have sold shares in the North Sea focused oil and gas company worth around £770,000.

Aberdeen-based Ithaca disclosed that four non-executive directors had sold a total of 530,000 shares at 145p each on Thursday.

Brad Hurtubise sold 115,000 shares for £166,750.

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John Summers sold 215,000 shares for £312,000.

Frank Wormsbecker and Jay Zammmit both sold 100,000 shares for £145,000.

On the same day the four directors exercised options to acquire a total of 833,334 shares at prices ranging from $0.25 Canadian dollars to C$2.25 (14p to 124p).

The chairman Jack Lee exercised options to acquire 100,000 shares. He did not sell any.

Following the transactions the five board members own 2,643,033 Ithaca Energy shares in total.

These were worth around £3.7 million in total at yesterday's closing price of 141p.

Ithaca Eenrgy has built a significant portfolio of North Sea interests helped by the £203m acquisition of Valiant Petroleum in April.

On Wednesday the company said it expects to invest £180m developing existing North Sea assets in 2014.

It hopes to start production from the Greater Stella Area development off Scotland towards the end of the year. It is listed in Toronto and London.